The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has urged religious leaders in the country to tell their followers and the political class the truth at all times, regardless of the cost.
This was just as he reassured people of the state that the Senator Douye Diri-led administration was determined to build on the foundation laid by its predecessor to develop the State.
Ewhrudjakpo, who spoke at the inauguration of the St Lawrence Catholic Chaplaincy at his official residence in Government House, Yenagoa, frowned at the way and manner some clergymen unnecessarily sing the praise of political leaders.
He described a situation where the clergy only preach what those in authority want to hear as inimical to their ecclesiastical calling, and urged those involved in such practice to turn over a new leaf for the good of society.
He, however, commended Catholic priests, particularly the Bishop of Bomadi Diocese and some clerics of other faiths for their courage and forthrightness in speaking the truth.
A statement from the Deputy Governor’s media aide, Mr Doubra Atasi quoted him to have said, “When your spiritual director cannot look at your face and tell you that you are not doing well, then you have lost it. That is why we have the kind of society we have today”, he said.
“Unfortunately, more often than not, our clergymen want to tell us what we should hear and not what we ought to hear. And when you are only told what you want to hear and not what you ought to hear, you live in delusion of success or achievements.
“That is what happens, when leaders of the church fail to tell their followers and secular leaders the truth. Bishop, we are ready to listen to you. So we hope you will come around more often to tell us the truth”, he noted.
On issues of development, Ewhrudjakpo noted that the state airport would become functional as soon as the requirements necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic were satisfied.
According to him, the Nigerian Air Force and other pilots who are currently making use of the airport have all adjudged it to be the best so far in the country.
“The governor and I have been making use of the airport. I have personally flown into that airport about five times because that Air Force and some private jets are allowed to fly in with permission. From the account of pilots who have flown in, our airport for now is the best in the country. It will be up and doing very soon. We are also not keeping our eyes closed to the Agge Deep Seaport programme. We will try as much as possible to build on what former Governor Seriake Dickson did for Bayelsa.”
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Fire Ravages Filling Station In PH …As Youths Stone Fire Service Men
Fire has ravaged Heritage Oil Filling Station (formerly AP) located at Iwofe axis in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Tide gathered that the fire started at about 6:45am, yesterday, when one of the tankers was discharging fuel at the filling station.
No lives were lost, and there were no reported cases of injuries.
The fire continued with explosions, but for the intervention of the youths who risked their lives to put out the fire and prevented it from spreading to a nearby gas plant in the filling station.
An eyewitness said that the youths struggled with the fire, and eventually succeeded in minimising the negative impact of the incident before the state fire service men came by 8.15am.
The angry youths, the eyewitness said, pelted pebbles at the fire service men and chased them away for responding two hours after the commencement of the blaze.
Another witness, who gave his name as Samuel Alaja, said, “though the boys did not do well in stoning the fire service men but quickly added that the problem of late response in times of emergency has to be dealt with in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
“A situation where fire will start by 6.45am, and the youths will battle with fire and explosion till 8.15am before the fire service men will come is unacceptable.
“If not for the boys, the fire would have entered the gas plant, which would have definitely affected Onava Oil close to Heritage Oil and the many houses surrounding the filling station”, he said.
He reiterated the need for government to set up active fire services at close proximity, stressing that the existing state fire service has never responded on time to any fire incident in the capital city.
Alaja added that the stoning of the fire service vehicle was a product of anger from previous late response whenever duty calls.
Another eyewitness, who pleaded anonimity, commended the quick and selfless response of the boys in putting out the fire, saying that “when people work together, challenges can be put under control quickly’’.
All efforts to reach the owner of the filling station proved abortive.
By: Lilian Peters
Banigo Extols Wike Over Obaseki’s Victory …Hails Rivers HoS On Birthday
The Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has described the State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike as a Master Strategist and an Astute Political Icon.
Banigo stated this in reaction to the resounding victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded gubernatorial election in Edo State.
In a statement from the Government House, Port Harcourt, last Monday, Banigo said it was gratifying to note that under the watch of Wike as the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party National Campaign Council for the September 19, 2020, Edo State Governorship Election, Obaseki recorded a landslide victory over his rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
While congratulating Governor Godwin Obaseki on his re-election, Banigo said Wike has continued to demonstrate great capacity and leadership in the Peoples Democratic Party as a committed party man, and expressed the hope that the Peoples Democratic Party would take over the reins of governance at the federal level in 2023.
In another development, the Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has felicitated with the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Wenike Danagogo, as he celebrates his Birthday, yesterday.
In a statement in Government House, Port Harcourt, Banigo described Danagogo as a seasoned administrator who always brings to bear his administrative acumen in the discharge of his duties, as a former chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, former commissioner for urban development, former minister of sports, and presently, Secretary to the Rivers State Government.
Banigo said Danagogo’s peaceful disposition and his flair for mentoring young politicians stands him out as a complete gentleman.
The deputy governor prayed the Almighty God to continue to bless and keep him in good health.
Rivers LG Boss Donates 500KVA Transformers To Communities
The Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, Barrister Philip Okparaji, has handed over brand new 500KVA transformers bought by the council to Korokoro and Ollube communities of Aleto and Onne.
In a brief handover ceremony at the Local Government Secretariat in Agbonchia, Okparaji, stated that the transformers were part of the rural electrification project of his administration, adding that with the new transformers, artisans and business owners in the area would grow their businesses, boost youth employment and contribute to the peace and development of the area.
The LG chairman, who also holds doctorate degree, stated that more communities, including Eteo would get new transformers soon to promote social and economic activities in the communities.
He disclosed that a bigger step-down transformer would be purchased to connect the local government council secretariat to the national grid, adding that he would continue to work for the development of Eleme LGA in line with the mandate given to him by the electorate in the area.
Presenting the transformers on behalf of the LG Council to Korokoro and Ollube communities, former member representing Eleme in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Josiah Olu, thanked Okparaji describing him as a man with listening ears, and applauded him for heeding to the cries and yearnings of the people.
Calling on the communities to ensure the safety of the transformers, the former lawmaker stated that the major work of government had been carried out.
He pointed out that the council had been assured that the transformers have a lifespan of, at least, 30 years, charging members of the communities to ensure the protection of the transformers from vandals.
Receiving the transformer on behalf of Ollube community of Onne, Chief Ollor Oluka, explained that the community did a formal letter presenting their plight and requesting the donation of a transformer from the council, and conveyed the gratitude of the community to Okparaji for identifying with their plights.
Oluka pointed out that their long nights and days of darkness had come to an end with the provision of the new transformer by the council and added that they would continue to support his administration to succeed.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
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