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Her Majesty,Queen Josephine Diete-Spiff cautions the Media from tagging Native Doctors,Criminals as Pastor

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The wife of the first military governor of old Rivers State and President Royal Queens of the Niger Delta Initiative, HRM Dr. (Barr) Evang. Josephine Diete-Spiff has called on media practitioners in Bayelsa State and Nigeria at large to change the narrative of classifying native doctors and criminals causing mayhem in the country as Pastors.

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Dame Josephine stated this in an interview on Sunday during the third edition of the Bayelsa Media Network Awards held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Secretariat complex in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The queen and wife of the Amayanabo of Twon-Brass Kingdom disclosed that native doctors and criminals have moved into the church, stressing that Pastors who are ordained by God will never be found in such acts.

She further emphasized that native doctors and criminals should be given the right nomenclature as criminals and not pastors.

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The Royal Queen said, “I realise these days that when there is crime, a pastor is always mentioned. It is becoming the norm when crime is committed , the person is referred to as ‘Pastor’. I am a Pastor and I like to say that since the native doctors have moved to churches, we should actually clarify them properly and stop calling them Pastor somebody.

“We should say either native doctor or a criminal has committed an offense because a child of God will not be found in such acts. I like the Press to put out there that we Christians are not criminals especially when we are titled ‘Pastor’. Pastors are ordained by God and will not be found wanting. So if criminals or native doctors have moved into the church and begin to cause mayhem, pastors should not be classified with them. They should give them the right nomenclature as criminals.”

Commending the Bayelsa Media Network for conferring on her an award of excellence as the “Symbol of Hope for the Girl Child, Women and the Elderly, Queen Josephine said it is her passion to care for the girl child and women especially the widows and the elderly through her foundation.

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“I am really happy about the award because it is my passion. I have received so many awards; this is my fifth this year. I really thank God that I am been acknowledged and I think it is a call to do more and I hope God keeping me strong, I will do my best always.”

Also, the Twon-Brass Queen through her foundation identified and distributed bags of rice and cash gifts to about ten elderly widows during the award ceremony.

She regretted that some men who have huge amount of money in the bank as well as properties, unexpectedly die intestate without disclosing to their wife and children about their wealth, saying that it is one of the reasons why widows who are not supposed to suffer are suffering today.

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Queen Josephine called on men to write their Will now that they still can, so that their wife and children who are their future will not suffer.

“I was in the banking sector for 20year. I learnt there that men who died too early or untimely, never tell their spouse about their money in their bank account and the banks won’t tell them either so the money gets lost.

“So write a Will, it will help your spouse. Anyone can go first; it might be the wife or the husband. At the age of forty, I wrote my Will. I really urge you to write your Will.

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“By January, I will be 55years and I have written my will and am still alive. So write your Will so that your wife and children will not suffer because they are indeed your future”, she advised.

The Chairman, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council and Amayanabo of Twon-Brass Kingdom, HRM King Alfred Diete-Spiff who was full of admiration, appreciated his beloved wife and queen for the award of recognition given to her by the media practitioners.

King Alfred said, “She is a trailblazer, that has never stopped impressing and surprising me daily. So this has come again as a very pleasant surprise and that’s why am here in person. I wish her more grease to her elbow.

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“I think the media award has come in at the right time. Congratulations to the organizers and to the press. So keep the flag flying.”

The former military governor expressed his displeasure over the deprivation and neglect by the multinational oil companies to clean up the crude oil spill and compensate impacted communities caused by the Santa Barbara OML 29 oil field in Nembe Local Government Area of the state.

He called on the media to do their best to give the level of environmental degradation and suffering of the Nembe people the needed publicity it deserved in order to attract global attention.

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He said, “It is not easy these days where there is an oil spill and somebody turns around and say this is a sabotage. No! Nembe field definitely is one of those older fields which have been exposed and something should be done positively to compensate the people for the loss and deprivation.

“But that is only one of a series. Oil prospective in this country, should know the rules and regulations should be obeyed by the oil companies. When there was a spill in the Bay of Mexico, the world reacted to it and I think the world should react to the one at Nembe creek in the same manner.”

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Nigeria

Ijaws Diaspora: Queen Josephine Diete-Spiff of Twon Brass Kingdom Seeks Collaboration to Tackle Poverty, Trafficking, Violence Against Ijaw Women

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Queen of Twon Brass Kingdom and President of the Queens of the Niger Delta Initiative, Her Majesty, Dr Josephine Diete-Spiff, Esq JP called on the Ijaws in Diaspora on the need for an effective and efficient collaboration to meet the yearning and aspirations of Ijaw women in order for them to be empowered to achieve their fullest abilities and potential in every sphere of their life.

The Royal Queen made the call during her paper presentation on the occasion of the Ijaw Diaspora Convention held recently in New Jersey, United States of America.

Speaking on the theme: “Effective Collaboration with the Ijaw Diaspora: Hope for the Ijaw Women”, Queen Josephine noted that the Ijaw woman is majestic, full of strength, beautiful, hardworking, long-suffering, compassionate and caring for her children and loved ones.

She said that the description which depicted a typical Ijaw woman as with a pan on her head, a baby wrapped on her back and her work implements in her hands, ready to provide for the family under the hot African sun and Niger Delta rain, unperturbed by the harsh experiences of life shows she is tenacious and hardworking.

She said, “Unfortunately, today, the evil of industrialization in the name of oil and gas extraction and the attendant land grab/pollution have put a lot of our women out of the traditional livelihood occupation of fishing and farming which gave them prosperity in the past thus pushing them into poverty and loss of control of the children-a basis for the numerous vices among our youths today.

According to her, Ijaw women are mostly breadwinners and the nurturers of their families, adding that their livelihood was greatly impeded by the challenging environment of the Niger Delta, which though rich in oil and income generating opportunities, same are out of the reach of the Ijaw woman.

The wife of the former Rivers State Military Governor further emphasized that Ijaw women are agents of social change, if given the opportunity, adding that a collaboration with the Ijaw Diaspora will be a welcome development in changing the narrative of Ijaw Women in the livelihood scheme of survival.

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“The Ijaw woman’s means of survival are also threatened by a growing trend of farm produce theft and flooding. Added to her woes are kidnapping, herder invasion, and early widowhood, leading to loss of socio-economic subsistence. She also suffers from the attendant factors of poverty increased by lack of education, susceptibility to violence, cultism, health challenges, underage motherhood, in addition to some harmful traditional practices. The list is endless.”

Proposing avenues which require effective partnership, Queen Josephine called on the Ijaw Diaspora to collaborate with Ijaw women in homeland in areas of Interventions in Violence and Ill-Treatment Against Ijaw Women, Ijaw Women/Girl Child Education, Ijaw Women Empowerment, Encouraging Ijaw Women to Participate in Politics and take up Leadership Positions.

“It’s undeniable that the Ijaw Diaspora has assets for collaboration due to their international exposure, international contacts, financial resources, human and mental resources that override the economic capabilities of their counterparts in the homeland. Therefore, they can offer training, assist in primary healthcare, provide resources and partner with the Ijaw women in their homeland.

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“Collaboration with the Ijaw diaspora will be impossible without a formidable platform for operational collaboration and communication. One, therefore, recommends the creation of a most needed platform for efficient synergy between Ijaw diaspora and Ijaw women at home.

“So that the local Ijaw women can be empowered to achieve their fullest abilities and potential in every sphere of their life. For every Ijaw woman to fulfil the requirements of her heart and be free from any form of oppression, she needs to be liberated and confident in herself. Her desired accomplishment in life is a sine qua non for the benefit of the Ijaw ethnic nationality”, she stressed.

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