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Sylva Tasks Bayelsans On Voters Registration

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Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, has registered in the on-going voters’ registration exercise at his home town, Okpoama in Brass Local Government Area of the State. Sylva registered alongside his wife, Alanyingi, and uncle, Chief Benjamin Adigio-Eseni.

   The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Bayelsa State, Engineer Edwin Nwantarali presented the voters’ registration cards to Governor Sylva and members of his household that were registered along with him.

 The process of the Governor’s registration exercise which started at 3.42pm, lasted for 10 minutes.

In an interview with Government House correspondents shortly after his registration, Governor Sylva said the registration exercise was progressing smoothly.

 The Governor urged the people of the state to present themselves for registration, noting that it is their civic responsibility to do so.

He underscored the fact that if the people fail to take part in the voters’ registration exercise, they will neither be able to partake in choosing their own leaders, nor will they have a say in governance, adding that   it would be immoral for them to criticise government’s policies and programmes.

On his part, the Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Engineer Edwin Nwantarali said the registration exercise was on track in the state. He explained that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has taken delivery of 115,000 out of the required 120,000 Direct Data Capture machines (DDC) for the exercise in the country.

In Bayelsa, he said, the required 1,805 DDC machines have been deployed to the 105 registration centres and registration has commenced in earnest.

Meanwhile, the  Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State,Chief Werinipre Seibarugu, has urged the people of the state to ensure they perform their civic responsibility by getting registered enmass at the registration centre nearest to them

Chief Seibarugu made the call at Agudama, his home town,while speaking to journalists soon after he was registered as a voter by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the on-going nationwide voters registration exercise.

Seibarugu said though he experienced a little delay in the process of his registration, he was confident that INEC will improve on the time spent in the registration of each individual as the exercise progresses.

He, therefore, called on every eligible voter in the state to partake in the voters registration exercise, describing it as the first step towards ensuring  that every vote counts in the forth-coming elections.

Also speaking, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Edwin Offor Nwantarali, said the response of the people has been impressive so far and assured Bayelsans that the commission is addressing the problem of delay being experienced in the registration process.

He said the major complaint has been with the speed of the scanning machine capturing the finger prints, but assured that the problem has been rectified.

According to him, the software being used has been upgraded to enable it conclude capturing of finger prints in one minute saying that INEC has the full complement of all components needed for the exercise.

Mr Nwantarali said Bayelsa State is the only state in the federation that had its Direct Data Capturing (DDC) machines delivered to it before January 15, and stressed that with the co-operation of Bayelsns, the exercise will be a success in the state.

The Deputy Governor’s wife, Mrs Iyorozitei Seibarugu was also registered alongside her husband.

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Niger Delta

Activist Tasks FG On Reconstruction Of Eleme Road

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An environmental rights activist, Celestine Akpobari, has urged the Federal Government to be committed to their words in ensuring the total reconstruction of the Eleme/Ogoni axis of the East—West Road, to avoid a repeat of demonstration and barricade of the road as recently witnessed. 

He warned that a repeat of the recent demonstration and barricade of the road by protesting youths would be more serious with dare consequences, unless the Federal Government lives up to its promise.

Akpobari, in a media interaction on Monday in Port Harcourt, said that they agreed to suspend action on the total barricade of the road on Sunday, following several meetings and agreement reached with the Federal Government to start work immediately on the reconstruction of the road.

“This is not the first time this kind of assurance and promise was being made by the Federal Government, which they later abandoned.

“We are watching the unfolding events. We only suspended the action after one week because series of meetings and consultations were made through the Ministry of Niger Delta, and assurance was given.

“The Minister of Niger Delta Ministry, Godswill Akpabio, has assured that N2.5 billion had been released for compensation payments, in addition to the initial N2.5 billion that was released.

“Already, some machines have been mobilised to site to start work immediately, as they were ready, even while we were there, but we told them we will vacate when it was time, and we left after our thanksgiving on Sunday.

“We were told by the first contractor for the project; the RCC, that they were waiting for mobilisation to commence work, but because of the new design added, it appears another contractor was consulted.

“ If for any reason they abandoned this road project, which is an all important road that generates huge daily revenue to the Federal Government, we will have no other option, but to resume the action that was suspended, and that will have a more dare consequences, because even the shop and businesses there will be affected, which I don’t pray it happens”, Akpobari said.

The rights activist, however, commended the youths of the area for their resilience, even when the military were continuously parading the place to provoke and harass them on their peaceful action, for which they refused to go wild, and called on the Federal Government to finish the Eleme—Ogoni axis of the East-West Road on record time..

By: Corlins Walter

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Niger Delta

Former First Lady Tasks Women On Peace Building, Conflict Management

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Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has called on women to deploy their God-given talents to pursue peace in the society.
She also tasked world leaders to support peace efforts to ensure peace in the Korean Peninsula.
Mrs Jonathan gave the charge Saturday during a virtual International Leadership Conference (ILC) organised by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) tagged: ‘Toward a Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula’.
A statement from the media and communications officer of the Goodluck Jonathan’s foundation, Mr Wealth Ominabo quoted the former first Lady as saying:
“Women are home builders and constitute majority of caregivers around the world. As critical stakeholders in the peace building process, we must therefore discharge this role with grace, so that together, we can break new grounds and enthrone the world of our dreams. Women are natural peace-builders who play key roles in maintaining peace in our society.
“We, the women, brought our skills in conflict management and reconciliation to bear on the peace processes that resolved the long-drawn crises in Liberia and Northern Ireland.
“This natural capacity of women is recognized by both, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the United States’ Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017, which give women a crucial role in conflict management.
“I therefore call on women organisations to intensify their efforts by deploying our God-given talents on the leadership of North and South Korea to see the need to embrace peace”.
She emphasized that peace is critical to achieving sustainable development and called on leaders of North and South Korea to commit to peace in the Korean Peninsula.
“We call on leaders of North and South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan to support peace efforts.
“Peace is the fertile ground upon which we can nurture development and progress and build hope for our citizens. North and South Korea should set aside their political differences and come together in the interest of global peace and harmony.
“They should remember they once lived together in unity, love and happiness. I know that peace in the Korean Peninsula will be a bonus to global development and a boost to world peace”, she added.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Constitutes Committee On Chieftaincy Tussle

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The Bayelsa State Government has set up a seven-man committee to look into the lingering chieftaincy tussle over the Amananaowei stool of Aghoro II community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.
It also approved a 5-member Constitution Drafting Committee as part of efforts to resolve the conflict bedeviling the coastal community.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, inaugurated both committees when he met with the Chiefs and other critical stakeholders of Aghoro II Community at his office in Government House, Yenagoa.
In a statement issued at the weekend by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor, restated the need for the contending parties involved in the chieftaincy dispute to give peace a chance.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo expressed confidence that the committees would do a good job even as government is poised to do everything within its authority to ensure peaceful resolution of the conflict.
He charged the 7-man committee headed by the Technical Adviser to the Governor on Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Douye Naingba, to objectively examine all the issues raised by the various parties and report its findings and recommendations to government within three weeks.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo commended the two main factions for respecting government directives on the matter and urged them to maintain the kind gesture by cooperating with the committees in the interest of the community.
“We have set up a committee that will deal with all the parties involved. They know what to do. They will either bring all parties together at the same time or they will bring each party at a time. You have to cooperate fully with the committee. We are going to make copies of all the documents, which all the interested parties have submitted to government for this assignment”, he said.
“I want to thank God and all of you for maintaining the peace. Since you left here the other day, we have not heard anything untoward and this is what we want to hear, see and encourage. There is no need for us to fight because we all are brothers and sisters. We should allow love, oneness and gentility to prevail over jealousy, selfishness and greed”, he added.
Members of the 7-member Committee include the Technical Adviser to the Governor on Conflict Resolution, Dr Boma Spero-Jack, Chief Godspower Keku, one representative each from the ministries of Justice, Local Government Administration, Ekeremor
Local Government Council and a nominee by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security.
While the Five-man Aghoro II Community Constitution Drafting Committee is made up of a representative each from the Chiefs’ Council, CDC, women and youth groups with an official of the Ministry of Justice representing government as Chairman.
The Committee, which is also expected to complete its assignment within three weeks, has the Aghoro youth representative as Secretary.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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