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2015: Group Faults Ogoni Governorship Agenda

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A frontline socio-po
litical group in the campaign for the zoning of governorship of Rivers State in 2015 to the Rivers South East zone, the Rivers South-East Renaissance Movement (RISERM)  has faulted the call by the Ogoni Leadership Forum (OLF) that all political parties should pick their governorship candidates from Ogoni ethnic group.
RISERM in a statement issued yesterday and made available to The Tide, expressed dissatisfaction over persistent call  by OLF for only Ogoni governorship candidate  in 2015, describing the call as myopic, self-centered, parochial and unachievable.
The statement signed by  the  RISERM Project Coordinator, Barrister  Dornu Barida Nwinang, said that  in a bid to have political emancipation, all ethnic groups in the Rivers South-East Senatorial District must come together and give support to the 2015 governorship project.
Nwinang  noted that  some senatorial districts in other States that have not produced governors of their States are also  canvassing for governorship of their various States as it was in Akwa Ibom, Delta and Cross River States.
According to him, “no
‘’ Cross River State, just like Rivers State, is faced with similar scenario and the over 16 ethnic groups in Cross River North Senatorial District is equally canvassing for the governorship of Cross River State. No serious political party will zone its governorship candidate to an ethnic group found in only three local government areas except these few individuals under the aegis of Ogoni Leadership Forum are claiming deliberate ignorance of this political reality’’.
He said the historical practice of political parties in the current political dispensation in the State will not help the course of the Ogoni Leadership Forum.
Calling on all the political parties in the state and of the  people of Rivers South –East to disregard any singular agitation based on ethnic sentiment that cannot withstand serious political horse-trading, the group urged for the zoning governorship tickets to Rivers South-East Senatorial District which of Ogoni is part.
The group boasted that the Senatorial District is capable of producing credible, acceptable and well prepared Governorship candidates from the zone in 2015.

Governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the October 11 governorship by-election in Adamawa State, Mr. Yakubu Tsalla (left), displaying his intent and nomination forms during his declaration at the APC Secretariat in Yola, recently. Photo: NAN

Governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the October 11 governorship by-election in Adamawa State, Mr. Yakubu Tsalla (left), displaying his intent and nomination forms during his declaration at the APC Secretariat in Yola, recently. Photo: NAN

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IPAC Wants Electoral Reform Conference On LG System

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She Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has called for national electoral reform conference to review the administration of local governments in Nigeria.
IPAC President, Peter Ameh, made the call at a news conference after the National Executive 9th inaugural meeting of the council last Wednesday in Abuja.
Ameh said that there was urgent review of laws establishing the local government administration to enable it serve the interest of Nigerians.
He called for the review of Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution to guarantee the existence, establishment, structure, composition, finance, functions and tenure of local governments.
“Section 162(5)-(7) of the Constitution should be amended to abolish the joint state/local government account.
He advised any state governor who felt aggrieved or more interested in local government funds to resign and contest as chairman, saying “he or she should be rest assured of our support.
“Section 162(5)-(7) of the Constitution should be further amended to provide that any amount standing to the credit of the local government councils in the Federation Account should be paid directly to the various local governments.”
Ameh said that the local government system had been hijacked by state governors and its current law no longer serve the interest of Nigerians.
He said that the constitutional responsibility of elected councilors to make bye laws for the good governance and development at the grassroots had been greatly eroded by the excessive interference by governors.
“We have 774 local governments and more than 3,000 councilors in Nigeria and having these large administrative network not applied optimally for the benefit of the Nigerian people is a major setback in our democracy.
“The current law as regards the administration of our local government system no longer serve the interest of the Nigerian people.
“This must be urgently reviewed to save and promote effective local council system as expected in a proper democratic presidential system.”
Ameh said that IPAC would support all efforts as well as work with the National Assembly for necessary constitutional amendments that would grant full financial and electoral autonomy to Local Government LG system and administration.
He attributed the inability or failure of the local councils to bring about grassroots development to lack of local government election in Nigeria.
Ameh also called for the review of Sections 153, 197 and the Third Schedule to the Constitution to re-design and re-order State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs).
He described SIECs as the “greatest democratic fraud” foisted on Nigeria’s electoral democracy.
He said that from the conduct of state elections by SIECs so far, it was impossible to get a free, fair and credible election under the existing arrangement.
“The current system encourages massive rigging because SIECs are under the wills and caprices of the state governments and the political party in power in each state.
“Hence the call that the responsibility of conducting local government elections be given to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”, he said.
He said that if local authorities had autonomy and tenure guaranteed, it would be easy for people to hold them accountable.

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Bayelsa PDP Guber Candidate Harps On Sports Dev

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in Bayelsa State, Sen. Douye Diri, has promised to pay more attention to sporting activities in the state; if elected governor come November 16.
He made the promise last Wednesday during an interactive session with journalists in Yenagoa.
He recalled that when he was the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development Bayelsa State was always at the top in sporting activities.
“In my time as the Commissioner, Bayelsa United, Ocean Boys of Brass, Bayelsa Queens, were on top, even in wrestling and other sporting activities.
“If elected as the Bayelsa Governor, one of the key areas that I will pay more attention is sports.
“This is because Bayelsa has all it takes to bounce back in the arena of sports of all kinds.
“My government will ensure that we build sporting facilities in all the local government areas of Bayelsa, with a view to recovering young talents in the rural areas.
“As you know, exercise is very good for the body, and it keeps you fit, strong and healthy so, sports is good for body building,” he said.
The governorship candidate assured that he would consolidate on the restoration government of Governor Seriake Dickson, to move the state forward.
The Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa Council, Mr Samuel Numonengi, tasked journalists to avoid biased reports that would tarnish the name of the council.
Diri is the serving Senator representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, comprising Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Yenagoa and Kolokuma/Opokuma in the National Assembly.

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Dickson Sacks Aide Over Gross Misconduct, Indiscipline

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Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has sacked Mrs Hellen Bob, his Special Adviser on Talents and Gender Development over alleged misconduct and indiscipline.
The special adviser’s sack was announced in a statement by Mr Fidelis Soriwei, Chief Press Secretary to the governor last Thursday in Yenagoa.
The statement said Bob was relieved of her duties for gross misconduct, indiscipline and irresponsibility.
“Mrs Helen Bob was dismissed for repeated acts of gross misconduct, indiscipline, irresponsibility and acts unbecoming of a person occupying the position of special adviser.
“Mrs. Bob was among 130 special advisers engaged by the governor to render necessary services to the state and to give a sense of belonging and legitimate support to party members,” the statement read in parts.
Meanwhile some analysts have attributed Bob’s sack to her divergent views concerning the outcome of the recently concluded Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries in the state.
Reacting to her sack, Bob said  she was not surprised at the development and thanked the governor for giving her the opportunity to serve in the state government.
“I am happy to have stood for the truth, frankly speaking, I am a woman of truth and will always stand by it.
“Governor Seriake Dickson has done very well not to have ignored my comments which of course I know must have touched his heart.
“And the gods of the land will be so proud of a true Izon daughter, truth is very very bitter, this is not a surprise at all,” she said.
She however stated that her sack came belatedly because she was already out to speak against the mismanagement of PDP in Bayelsa State.
“Sincerely it is already late, no amount of sack will stop me from stating the truth, no amount of sack will stop the flood that is about to submerge the PDP if it fails to redress the issues raised,” she said.
Bob was a former Chairman of Brass Local Government Area of the state.

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