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Bayelsa: No PDP Candidate For Guber Polls – INEC

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The Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP) may not present candidate in the next month’s Governorship election in Bayelsa State going by the names of cleared contestants in the Independent National Electoral Commission’s website.

Yesterday, the umpire election body displayed 35 names representing 35 registered political parties with the column bearing PDP without a candidate.

This development is said to have caused great disarray, anxiety and tension in the camp of Sierake Dickson who won the primary election of the party just as the camp of the incumbent governor, Chief Timipreye Sylva who was disqualified from contesting is said to be celebrating the development.

Reacting, Governor Sylva  commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for toeing the path of the rule of law in the release of the list of candidates for the state’s governorship election.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Doifie Ola, Sylva notes that “INEC has taken the right decision as an impartial umpire by acknowledging and stating clearly that the subject of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the governorship election is validly before a court of law, and that as an institution that respects the rule of law and democracy, it would not do anything to prejudice the final outcome of the matter in court.”

The statement by the CPS says Governor Sylva assures his supporters that he has a good case and believes in due process and the rule of law. As a democrat, he urges his supporters to remain calm and wait for the outcome of the case.

It would be recalled that in the run-up to the 19 November 2011 PDP governorship primary in Bayelsa State, the governor approached the Federal High Court in Abuja following his exclusion from the primary by the PDP apparatchik. The governor asked the court to uphold his candidature on the basis of the January 2011 primary or, on the contrary, allow him to participate in any primary that will be conducted by his party, PDP. The learned judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, consequently ordered PDP to show cause why the governor’s prayers should not be granted, and cautioned that the status quo be maintained.

According to the statement, the PDP has now filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, to which Governor Sylva has cross-appealed. The governor is arguing that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it held that some pronouncements of Justice Kolawole amounts to pre-judging the issues before him.

Governor  Sylva’s argument at the Supreme Court is that he is the authentic candidate of the PDP for the February 2012 governorship election. He notes that under the amended Electoral Act, a political party has no right to withdraw the name of a candidate it has submitted to INEC; it is only the candidate, due to resignation or death, that can so do.

Sylva notes that the governorship election in Bayelsa State was postponed, and not cancelled. The postponement of the governorship poll in Bayelsa State, for the governor, could be likened to the recent postponement of the Adamawa State governorship election from 14 January to 21 January. Assuming that this election was postponed for one month or more, will the Adamawa PDP go for another primary to determine the flag-bearer in the rescheduled gubernatorial election? The answer to this, for him, is clearly, no.

The governor is asking the court to invoke section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to determine the case at the Supreme Court. So that the matter will not go back to the lower court, and that the matter should be given expeditious hearing and treated on its own merit due to the time limitation.

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Diri Promises Bayelsans Better Deal

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, Saturday re-echoed his administration’s readiness towards bettering the lots of the state through developmental projects and policies.
Governor Diri stated this in Yenagoa, during a live broadcast on radio stations across the state to commemorate this year’s June 12 Democracy Day celebration which was monitored by The Tide.
In a statement made available to newsmen by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, shortly after the broadcast, the governor was quoted saying:
“Democracy was about the people, Nigeria had come a long way with 22 years of uninterrupted civilian rule. We’ve also observed that the nation’s Democratic journey had not been very smooth but it’s worth celebrating. The urban renewal programme and other projects as well as policies of the prosperity administration were part of the efforts to accord the state a facelift, making it better and more attractive to tourists and investors”.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing demolition of illegal structures in the state capital, the governor stated that it was in line with his administration’s urban renewal policy, noting however, that since the demolition commenced, sanity had been restored in some of the major markets in the state, regretting that the shanties in such areas were hide-outs for criminals.
In the same vein, governor Diri has made clarifications on the Federal Government’s infrastructure development refund to the state.
He said the actual amount the state received was N27.5 billion and not N38.4 billion as was earlier speculated, just as he explained that the total refund due the state was N38.4 billion.
Diri however maintained that the Federal Government has said the release would not be possible in the next four years and therefore offered the state a second option of a discounted amount of N27.5 billion through the Debt Management Office, DMO which he said the state has since received last December, 2020.
“The Federal Government infrastructural refund had been committed to constructing critical capital projects; the Yenagoa- Oporoma road in the state’s Central Senatorial district, the Sagbama-Ekeremor road in the Western district,and the AIT-Igbogene ring road project were being constructed, with the refund”, he said.
“We’re also constructing the dualised Glory Drive-Onopa road, the Nembe unity bridge and we’ve done and will continue to do the installation of street lights in the state capital and other projects”, he added.
On open grazing, Diri maintained that he was not counteracting the Federal Government’s stance on resuscitating grazing routes, saying that his administration has, however, put in place a legal framework to ban open grazing.
Diri mentioned that the southern governors had adopted same instrument as part of measures to forestall, farmers/herders fracases.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Police Nab 126 Suspected Criminals In C’River

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The Cross River State Police Command has arrested 126 suspected criminals in the Northern and Central Senatorial districts of the state.
Sixty-eight suspects were arrested in the Northern senatorial district while 58 were arrested in the central senatorial district of the state.
Speaking to journalists in Calabar, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Sikiru Akande, said “My officers who are in the central senatorial district have carried out similar operations and they have 58 different suspects while those in the North have about 68 different suspects
“In the Southern senatorial district, we have 109 criminals arrested from different areas. We want to restore peace which is the mandates of the current police administration and we are to use all tactics to ensure that peace is restored in our region”
CP Akande said in every armed robbery, there is cultism, in every kidnap, there is cultism, cultism emboldens the heart to do and undo and in most cases, these people use cultism for nefarious activity because cultism is an impressive instrument in the society
Following the arrests of many suspects, The Police boss said efforts are on top gear to curb cell congestion, especially as the courts are still on strike.
He said, “We are going to use the opportunity to screen them to the last person so that if it is possible for us, we put of the fire that is likely to come from that area
“We will profile them and send them back to their different communities to police the place Now that we have their pictures, now that we have their fingerprints, anything that happens in that area, they will be held responsible
“We have a template, criminals before now don’t have identities, now they do, we are going to profile them we are going to send them back to their community with a digital monitoring capacity. What we want to do is that we want to use them as forces against future criminality because what we have now is a large number of people from different parts of the city.
‘If anything happens in their areas, they are going to be the first suspect to be pick up. If they don’t want to suffer, they will maintain peace. The numbers of creeks created by these individuals are too much. Those who stay around these areas, when they see strange face say something” he stated.

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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FRSC Wants Nigerians To Use Bicycles As Alternative Transportation Means

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC),Bayelsa State Command, has urged Nigerians to adopt the use of bicycle as an alternative means of transportation, stating that it is cheaper and serves as means for exercise, keeping the body fit and healthy.
The Sector Commander, Mr Ibrahim Usman made this call during the 3rd ‘World Bicycle Day’ which held in Yenagoa,the state capital at the weekend.
Usman, in an awareness campaign led a team of cyclists,comprising officers of the Corps, government officials and professionals to a bicycle ride round notable areas in the state capital.
He said that it was time to re-enact the transportation system that had helped human civilisation for ages, since the 17th century.
The United Nations in 2017 had declared June 3rd of every year as World Bicycle Day,prompting the sector command to the organize the event at the weekend in the state, few days after the global day set aside.
“Advanced countries have adopted bicycle transportation system as a matter of public health wellbeing and control of greenhouse effects of carbon emissions. We want our people to come back to the basics, cycling is good for the body and environment and it’s economical to maintain”, he said.
“That is why we are raising the awareness again and calling on the Bayelsa Government to join us in this campaign to revive the culture of the use of bicycle as a means of transportation,” he added.
Also speaking, the Bayelsa state Commissioner for Transportation, Mrs Grace Ayakpo, represented by an Assistant Director in the Ministry, Mr Abigini Ndiomu, lauded the efforts of the FRSC at ensuring the safety of all on the roads.
She said the initiative of the Corps to revive the use of bicycle as a means of transport, was noble one, adding that the State Government would do everything necessary to make it succeed.
Meanwhile in a lecture commemorating the day, tagged ‘benefit of cycling’ a physician with the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Dr Fidelis Otokolo has highlighted the health benefits of cycling to human health to include free flow of blood to the heart for good function and strengthening of the lungs as well as muscles, just as he noted that it also helps in the inhaling of good and fresh air to improve posture.
He added that cycling helps the stamina in the body, as peddling reduces arthritis in various joints and parts of the body.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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