Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has visited former President, Goodluck Jonathan at his home in Bayelsa State.
Jonathan and his wife, Patience, welcomed the elder statesman who was in their home for a private dinner.
Before the visit, Obasanjo inaugurated a government specialist hospital in the state and unveiled the Bayelsa Heliport which was renamed after the first military administrator of the defunct Rivers State, Alfred Diete-Spiff.
Upon his arrival in Bayelsa, the former president was received by the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, in company of some top government officials in the state.
Obasanjo, commended Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa for embarking on projects that would improve the overall development of the state and the people.
Obasanjo gave the commendation while inaugurating newly built Bayelsa Diagnostic Centre.
He said the centre was built according to international standard and would assist in improving health care delivery to the people.
He added that “20 years ago when I came to Bayelsa for campaign, there was no space to gather people, but today, there is a great difference.
“Yes, for full development to take place in Bayelsa, there must be accessibility in terms of transportation, communication and health care delivery.
“I must tell you, for six hours I am here, I have seen something to convince me that Bayelsa is already in transformation stage.
“The health facility here is second to none.”
Obasanjo also advised students of Ijaw National Academy, Kaiama, Bayelsa, to take advantage of education, and make themselves leaders of tomorrow.
He gave the advice during an interactive session with the students in Kaiama, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa, last Friday.
The former president was in Bayelsa, to commission some projects to mark Governor Seriake Dickson’s six years in office.
During the interactive session, the former president said that after food and health, the next was education.
Obasanjo, said a leader without vision would not go anywhere, because it is vision that drives a good leader.
“The foundation of any human mind is education. A leader who does not give his people quality education, will perish with his people.
“The root cause of militancy is lack of education, if you don’t build schools; that means you have to prepare for unstable society.
“The only investment that lasts and that does not need repair is education.
“My childhood was very rough, I never had the opportunity most of you have now, as students of Ijaw National Academy,’’ he said.
Earlier, Governor Seriake Dickson had said the diagnostic centre was part of his promises to the people of Bayelsa.
Dickson reiterated his administration’s readiness to continue to work to uplift the healthcare delivery in the state.
He said the uncompleted 500-bed hospital initiated by previous administration would be given a face lift in the next fiscal year.
“We will complete the project before the end of my tenure,’’ he assured.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitulah Etebu, said the centre was capable of taking care of the diagnostic needs of people in the state.
He added that “the diagnostic centre would handle screening of blood, radiology and the result transmitted electronically to international partners in America.”
…As Edo Promises Memorable Event
The Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs in Edo State, Mr Osazee Osemwingie-Ero, has assured delegates and prospective guests at the 32nd edition of 2019 National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) in Benin of memorable and colourful event.
Osemwingie-Ero gave the assurance in an interview with The Tide’s source in Benin, ahead of the opening ceremony of NAFEST at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) Sports Complex.
He said that majority of the participating states’ delegates had arrived Benin.
According to him, Edo has friendly environment as exemplified by the colourful ambience of the city and its environs.
The source reports that the podium at the UNIBEN sports complex has beautifully been decorated with the logo of NAFEST, while major roads in the city now wear new looks.
Different cultural troupes from the various local government areas of the state and neighbouring Delta are on ground.
Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigeria Peace Corps and members of the Edo Public Works Volunteers were seen complementing security agencies in the control of human and vehicular movements in and around the sports complex.
The source recalls that the Commissioner of Police, Dan Mallam Mohammed, had said that 730 officers and men of the command were deployed to provide security for the festival.
NDDC Probe: N’ Delta Group Hails Buhari
The move by President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government to investigate finances of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has been described as the most important move by any administration to revive the commission.
The National Coordinator of the Niger Delta Youth Coalition (NDYC), Prince Emmanuel Ogba, said this yesterday in an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt.
He expressed regret that NDDC which was established as an interventionist agency to bring development to the impoverished people of the Niger Delta region has failed in its crucial mandate.
Ogba said the failure of the commission is recorded in all the nine States it covers.
He said billions of Naira has been allocated to NDDC by the Federal Government since the establishment of the commission but it has not justified this in terms of the development projects.
“ Billions of Naira has been allocated to NDDC by the Federal Government since the inception of the commission but shamefully, the huge funds cannon be justified in terms of people-oriented projects.
“ That is why we have thousands of abandoned projects across the nine States making up the NDDC States .
“ We support the move by the Federal Government to probe the commission “.
Lawmaker Faults Ceding Of Land For Deep Seaport
A member representing Bakassi State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, has condemned the alleged ceding of 35, 000 hectares of land for development of Deep Seaport.
Hon. Ekpo Bassey, who spoke on a telephone interview, lamented the donations announced by the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi, Etinyin Etim Okon Edet, during a courtesy visit to Governor Ben Ayade.
The Governor had announced the payment of Two Hundred Million Naira as compensation to the people of Bakassi for the donation of 35,000 hectares of land for the development of the Deep seaport.
Governor Ayade announced the monetary compensation during a stakeholders meeting held at the state executive chamber, Calabar, with leaders and traditional rulers of the area led by the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi, Etiny in Etim Okon Edet.
But, Hon. Bassey expressed regret over the action of the paramount ruler, explaining that he has no land to donate to the government as where he came from was ceded to Cameroon. “If Governor Ayade is interested in acquiring land in Bakassi, there is due process. You meet the people who are the owners of the land and then access what they have on ground and probably resources therein and other things and then you make provision for their relocation.
“These are the things that should be done. For one to surrender his or her land he must be carried along and some of us critical stakeholders were not involved.
“Such an exercise needed to be done in a better-organised way than what they are talking about; you must engage critical stakeholders and then take steps to provide alternative accommodation. You don’t cede the land of the people the way Bakassi was ceded. “Yesterday, I moved a motion on the floor of the House, calling on the Federal Government to pay compensation for the ceded Bakassi which was done in hurry in violation of section 12 subsection one of the constitution that says, no treaty or agreement will have the force of law if it has not been ratified by the National Assembly.
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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