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Lawmaker Accuses Bayelsa Elders Of Greed

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A member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon, Jonathan Ogbuebite, has accused some elders in the state of greediness and demanding from the state government a monthly allowance of five million naira each as a reward for championing the creation of the state in 1996.

Mr Ogbuebite, representing Nembe Constituency One and also the Chief  Whip in the House also alleged that some of the elders are contractors who refused to executive developmental projects awarded to them in the past.

Disclosing this at the Inaugural Annual Public lecture organized by the Federated Correspondents Chapel, an arm of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State Council, the Chief Whip  said a letter to this effect has been forwarded to the Assembly.

Seeking for the enactment of law to this effect, the affected elders, according to the lawmaker demanded that same gesture should be extended to their children after their demise.

Hon. Ogbuebite disclosed that over 90 per cent of the elders making this demands reside outside the state, but wanted to benefit from the state without contributing their own quota as expected of them.

Apart from residing outside the state, the lawmaker said that over 60 per cent of them were beneficiaries of the contract awarded to indigenous contractors at the inception of the present administration but it was sadden to note that most of these contracts were abandoned.

He said rather thinking of what would I benefit from government, we should all be ready to make useful contribution to the growth of the society.

His words, ‘let’s think of what we contribute to the government not only what the government will do for us.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Ambassador Emmanuel Otiotio, stressed the need for transformational leadership as against the transactional leadership being practiced by some African nations.

Making reference to the style of leadership of the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Otiotio described his style of leadership as not only acceptable but transformational.

Most Africa leaders are like Biblical Esau who imbibed the culture of kill and eat without making provision for tomorrow; the Special Adviser stressed the need for the people at the helm of affairs to create opportunities that would transform their respective societies.

His words, “election will come and go, but we need to build institutions that will lead to the transformation of the society. We don’t need that hunter mentality that we go to people at night because of election.”

Also speaking, the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Hon. Magnus Abe said, ‘as leaders we have seen the gains of democracy, there is need for us to reduce the pains on the part of the people will governed. The more the people benefit from the gains, the more the success of democracy.

On security, he said government was spending so much in securing the lives of political appointees, adding that this should be reduced by licensing private security outfit, and as well making beneficiaries to pay for it.

In his address, the Chairman of the Federated Correspondents Chapel, Kola Oredipe said journalists in the state were committed to adding value to the system by making useful contribution to nation building.

His words, the contribution of the media to the enthronement of democracy in the Country is no doubt commendable and this fact had been acknowledged by various stakeholders in the Country.

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CVR: Traditional Ruler Tasks INEC On Mass Mobilisation

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A traditional ruler in Elele community, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief  Mike Elechi, has called on the indigenes of the community and the state to participate in the Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) to enable them choose who will govern them in the next general elections.
Sir Elechi also used the opportunity to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission  to organise stakeholders meeting in his community, saying that such  interactive session would shed more light on the importance of the electoral process. 
Elechi stated this in an interview with journalists in his home town over the weekend, saying that the call became imperative following the hardship faced by the citizens as result of bad leadership in the country 
The former Permanent Secretary said although he was yet to see the commencement of the exercise in the area, he, stated the need to organise stakeholders meeting by the electoral empire which would achieve the desired objectives.
According to him, INEC has by this exercise provided an opportunity for full participation of those above 18 years who were not registered during the last exercise 
The Chief Executive Officer of Vintage Farms, said INEC had provided yet another platform for eligible voters to register and vote out bad government led by the federal government. 
“As I urge INEC to carry out adequate sensitization ,it behoves those above 18 years to register and vote and as well be voted for. 
“Get your voters card to enable you throw bad governance into the dustbin. 
“It will also help us get out where we are now.” 
Elechi pointed out that his community has a large number of voters in Ikwerre Local Government area, stressing that concerted efforts should be made to ensure that the exercise was in the area .

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Diri Cautions Appointees Over Early Politicking

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has cautioned his appointees against early politicking ahead of the 2023 elections, saying he would not hesitate to sack any of them found wanting.
Speaking before commencement of the weekly state Executive Council meeting in Government House  Governor Diri frowned on the activities of some of his appointees, which he said were hitting up the polity ahead of the 2023 elections, stressing that it was too early for open politicking. 
A statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying despite people having the right to aspire to any political office, the time was not ripe for politicking. 
Diri reminded his appointees that the administration lost considerable time last year due to COVID-19 and needless litigations, stressing that it was in a hurry to deliver on its campaign promises and would not afford to waste time politicking. 
He wondered why appointees would be involved in open politicking when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not even released a timetable for elections.
The state helmsman urged members of his cabinet interested in open politicking at this time, especially those from Bayelsa West Senatorial District, to resign or be ready to be sacked.
He called on all those involved in the early politicking to immediately withdraw and follow the directives of his administration, saying his government was not ready for politics at this time. 
“I find it very difficult to believe that appointees in this government have already started open politicking.
“Yes, it is the constitutional right of anybody to contest but even the Bible tells us that there is time for everything. At this time, we are trying to stamp our feet to meet up our campaign promises to our people.”
“I hereby caution all those involved to immediately withdraw. If you are prepared to continue with this government, you must listen to the music of this administration. We are not prepared to start politicking from this year”, he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Diri has also sworn in two new Special Advisers.
They are, Alabo Ozubide, Special Adviser, Legal Matters, and Onuma Johnson, Special Adviser on Non-Indigenes. 
While congratulating them, he said their appointments were based on merit and in line with his campaign promises, charging them to avoid friction with commissioners,just as he reiterated that their cooperation with commissioners would deliver development to the people of the state. 
“We promised that when elected, we would appoint a Special Adviser from among non-ndigenes. This appointment is in fulfilment of that promise. We believe that you will be able to synergise and gather non-indigenes together.
“Often, we see role conflicts between special advisers and commissioners that duty bound to implement government policies. You as special advisers should cooperate with them,” he said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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PDP Urges Nigerians To Embrace E-Registration Of Members

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Nigerians to embrace in its online membership registration scheduled to begin in August.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan made the appeal during a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians to visit www.iampdp.com for the online registration at the comfort of their homes.
He also expressed delight over  requests from Nigerians  and the interests they were already showing  for the online registration.
Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians to come to PDP and own the process.
The PDP spokesman also commended Nigerians on the way they embraced the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) online ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
He said “PDP is happy to hear the INEC saying no fewer than one million Nigerians have completed their online pre-registration.”
Ologbondiyan said  the way Nigerians embraced the CVR showed they were dissatisfied with governance in the country and ready for 2023.
He urged Nigerians of voting age and those yet to register for Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to continue with the CVR.
He said “We appeal to those who are educated, especially members of the PDP to encourage others to participate in the ongoing CVR.”
Ologbondiyan also urged Nigerians to register to enable them to vote, pointing out that people should know it is  their rights to vote.
Asked how PDP would conduct its e-registration with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) recent comment on Nigeria network covered, Ologbondiyan said as far as PDP was concerned, every  part of Nigeria had network coverage.
“From the information we have received from all our members across the 36 states and across the 774 local governments area of the country, there is no where that we have received a report that they cannot carry out online registration.
“Even INEC has come out to say that they have no problems with online registration.
“We are happy that INEC has come out to reveal that not less than one million Nigerians have so far participated in the Continuous Voters’ Registration exercise of the commission,” he said.
On  inquiry over the role of the National Assembly members on  electronic transmission of election results, he said the party would meet its members in the National Assembly to review their participation.
He said “The PDP is calling a meeting between the party and caucus in the National Assembly to review the participation of members in the legislative activity of the National Assembly as it concerns the voting on transmission of results.”

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