Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state has thanked the military for its dedication to the peace and security of the state.
The governor who confessed that the military saved his life twice during the 2007 and 2015 general elections promised to maintain a cordial relationship with officers and men of the Nigerian Army in order to keep the state safe and secure.
Makinde was speaking at a reception in his honour by the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major-General Anthony Bamidele Omozoje.
The governor said, “I want to especially thank the officers for the good work that they are doing to keep us safe and secure. To some people, it may be something new but to me, it is not. I have been saved twice from imminent death by the officers of this Division.
“The first experience was in 2007 when I was contesting to go to the Senate. On the day of election, my house was invaded by mobile policemen but I was rescued by the officers and was taken to Mokola Barracks where I stayed throughout the election. I did not even vote on the day of election, but I was happy that I came back unhurt due to the efforts of the officers of this 2 Division.
“Also, in 2015 when I was contesting to be the governor of this state, I was going to campaign in front of the family house of my opponent. Violence erupted but the officers of this division took charge and I was rescued unhurt. So, if I fast-track to Operation Burst, I am glad to say that anytime we have them going out for an operation, we sleep peacefully because we know they will do the necessary things.
Makinde also confessed that he would have been an army officer but opted to study Engineering when efforts to join the army failed
“I tried to join the Nigerian Army because of two basic things; the organisation and the discipline. When it didn’t work out, I decided to be an engineer. There is similarity between the organisation and discipline of the army and that of the engineering profession,” he said.
He stated that his administration would continue to provide social amenities for the well-being of all and sundry in the state, adding that he has approved the renovation of school in the barracks.
“The last time I was at the WASA event, I spoke about two major things; the dilapidated school in the barracks and the Light-Up Oyo State Project. Because you have been selfless in taking the wellbeing of the people of the state as a top priority, I have given the approval for the renovation of the school.
“I also said that the second phase of the Light-Up project will not continue until we include Odogbo Barracks in it. In the next two or three weeks, we should approve the second phase, which we will make sure that it extends to the barracks,” he said.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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