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Bayelsa Fails To Disclose Inherited Funds

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The Bayelsa State Government on Wednesday, failed to make public the total amount of money it inherited from the immediate past administration of Governor Seriake Dickson.
Governor Douye Diri took over the reins of power from Dickson on February 14, 2020 following the Supreme Court judgment which voided the election of David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress and declared him winner of the November 16, 2019 poll.
The government had been under pressure by stakeholders, including the Save Our Unity and Nascent Democracy, a pressure group, to address the people on the state’s financial status.
Following the pressure, the government on Wednesday held its maiden transparency briefing at the Treasury Building, Yenagoa.
However, the Technical Adviser to the Governor on Finance, Mr Maxwell Ebibai, who presented the state’s income and expenditure for the month of February, 2020, kept mum on the total amount of money inherited from the former administration.
He nevertheless, explained that the state posted a negative figure in the month of January, 2020.
Ebibai, who was responding to a question on the issue, said, “You wanted to know if the balance that was carried over from January is the balance that was left by the previous government.
“Let us all be guided that the previous government stayed (in office) until the 14th of February.
“So, it will not be okay that that’s the balance handed over by the previous government. However, with government is an issue of assets and liabilities.
“If we want to go into what was handed over, we will be looking at our receivables, our investments, our bank balances. And that’s not what we can take in this outing.”
The governor’s aide, who was Dickson’s commissioner for Finance, further said, “In the month of January, we had a negative figure. And the negative figure from the month of January was N2.381bn.”
He said the state’s total receipts for February, including a net inflow of N11.704bn from the Federation Account Allocation Committee, was N17.69bn.

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Niger Delta

Bonny Raid: Release Victims Unharmed Now, IYC Warns Kidnappers

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One week after they whisked away their victims from a funeral at Banigo Isile-Ogono Community in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has warned kidnappers of the Banigo Four to release them immediately, unconditionally and unharmed.
The Chairman of the IYC, Ibani Clan, Princewill Oko-Jumbo, who issued this warning in an interview with newsmen in Bonny, warned of dire consequences, should their ultimatum not be complied with.
“As a body, we are saying that they should release those being held hostage with immediate effect, unconditionally and unharmed.”
According to him, information available to the IYC indicates that the kidnappers may have come from neighbouring communities around Bonny, and as such, were likely to be from Ijaw communities, and thus comes under the purview of the group.
“The issue of speculation does not even need to come in because whether we like it or not, the people who did this act are either Ijaw people or living in Ijaw communities because if we want to talk about the Ijaw people, we have the core Ijaw people which are the Bayelsans.”
“But when we come to Rivers State, we have the Rivers Ijaw people who fall under the Ijaw tribe. So, if somebody is from Opobo, Andoni, Bonny, Kalabari, and Bille, among others, he is an ijaw man.”
He deplored the trauma and needless suffering the families of the victims have been subjected to, saying that it was unacceptable for Ijaw people to undermine the wellbeing of their fellow Ijaws.
“So, we will be talking about marginalisation, an Ijaw person cannot also come to marginalise his own brother. We are supposed to work in synergy to fight for our resources, to fight for our freedom, not to use it against our brothers.
“Do you know what it means, for how many days now, to hold people hostage? The trauma, which the families are passing through, is very, very uncalled for. So, as a body, we are saying that they should release those being held hostage with immediate effect, unconditionally and unharmed.”

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C’River Landlord Sets Tenant Ablaze Over N11,000 Rent

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A landlord, David Ntiero Okon, has been arrested for allegedly setting his tenant ablaze in Calabar, Cross River State, over her failure to pay N11, 000 house rent.
The incident happened last Wednesday at No 9, Ansa Ewa Street, Cobham Town in the Bayside area of Calabar South.
The landlord allegedly poured fuel on Mrs Mary Samuel’s room and ignited a fire that engulfed the one-room apartment.
An eyewitness and security guard who is a tenant in the house identified only as Obongette stated that Mary, who lived in the house for over seven years, owed the landlord N11, 000 after her fish business dwindled because of frequent attacks by militants in the Calabar Water Channel.
He said, “The woman was a fish seller and on Wednesday morning, she went to buy fish at Oron in Akwa Ibom State and when she returned in the evening, the landlord asked her to pay the balance of her annual rent. She said she didn’t have any money but should be allowed to sell her fish the next day to raise money to pay the rent.”
Obongette added, “The landlord was angered by the woman’s appeal and accused her of refusing to pay the rent. When the woman went to bathe, the landlord poured fuel in the room. After bathing, as she stepped into the room, the man ignited a fire which engulfed the place.
“As the woman shouted and tried to escape, the man locked the door and when people came to rescue her, he brought out a machete and chased them away, threatening to kill anyone who dared to rescue the burning lady.”
He said after the woman’s death, people in the area gathered and took the corpse to the landlord’s apartment and laid it there till the next day.

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UNIPORT Alumni Ends Retreat In Elele

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The 2020/2021 Executive Council of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association has ended in Elele Ikwerre Local Government Area with a charge to graduates of the university to be fully committed to its growth and development.
The retreat urged for a robust relationship between the various universities and their alumni associations, while members must always identify with the financial needs of their various institutions.
President, Rivers State Chapter of the Association, Mr. Sam Woka said the retreat was to create a platform for the executive council to brainstorm on the way forward not only for the Association but also to seek for ways of assisting the university in times of need.
According to him, the retreat will make the Rivers State chapter to discuss on ways of making the chapter reclaim its available position as the mother chapter in the country.
Woka also said a data base of all graduates of the institution would be compiled with a view to making them identify with the Association.
The retreat which has as its theme: “Growing the university through Alumni participation” also featured two lectures by Professor Clifford Ofuru and Mr. Bon Woke.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Chapter of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni has commended the Nigerian Military for ensuring adequate security in the state.
State President of the Association Mr. Sam Woka said this when the Association paid a courtesy call on the 34 Artillery Regiment of Nigerian Army Elele, Ikwerre Local Government Area.
Woka particularly commended the military for ensuring sanity along the Elele-Owerri road.
The Association also paid a courtesy call on Eze Isaac Wonwu the 2019 governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Rivers State.

 

By: John Bibor

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