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Council Boss Reads Riot Act As Ogoni Communities Resume Hostilities …Vows To Restore Peace

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Peeved by fresh hostilities between Bomu and Lewe communities in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chairman of the council, Hon. Paul Kobani has threatened to take harsh measures against trouble makers in a bid to ensure that peace returns to the area.
The fresh crisis is coming eight months after representatives of the two warring communities, comprising traditional rulers and youth leaders signed a peace deal in the presence of some prominent Ogoni leaders with a promise to keep to the pact.
The Tide recalls that representatives of the two warring communities, including traditional rulers and youth leaders had on December 10, 2018 signed a peace deal promising to adhere to the terms of the pact.
Narrating the fresh crisis, an indigene of Lewe told newsmen that armed men dressed in military uniform in company of Bomu people invaded Lewe and started shooting sporadically, destroyed traditional shrines and carted away seven motorcycles, just as he accused the council chairman of bias in handling the crisis.
The source identified as Batom who made the allegation called on the federal government to investigate the role of the military and unmask the armed men dressed in Nigerian Army uniforms.
But Kobani who led a joint military taskforce (JTF) command and the police in Gokana to the scene of the crisis advised both communities to learn to live together in peace even as he debunked allegations of bias in some quarters.
While condemning the renewed crisis, he expressed sadness that the communities were yet to overcome the pains, wounds and destruction they suffered during the last conflicts, saying it will be totally senseless for anybody to anticipate another round of crisis in Lewe and Bomu just as he called on security agencies to deal decisively with anyone causing trouble from either side.
According to Kobani, “It is regrettable that after months of peaceful co-existence between these two communities they have resumed hostilities. I want to condemn this senseless war in its totality. I advise the two communities to live together in peace as brothers and as neighbours because there is no gain in war.
“I have tried my best and I will continue to do what is right with the support of the security agencies to stamp out insecurity in the area and will not be discouraged or soften my stance despite cheap blackmail from certain quarters. There must be peace not only in Bomu and Lewe, but in Gokana as a whole. That is what I stand for” Kobani stated, pointing out that the JTF acted professionally to prevent the crisis from escalating”.

 

Dennis Naku

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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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