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Niger Delta

A’Ibom Group Accuses Governor Of Bias

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A pressure group, Oron Think Tank, has accused Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State of marginalising the Oro ethnic group in his recent board appointments.
Chairman of the Oron Think Tank and former Commissioner for Information, Prince Chris Abasi Eyo in a press release expressed dismay over the governor’s exclusion of Oron Federal Constituency from board appointments.
He described as unfair that nobody from Oron Federal Constituency, comprising five local government areas was included in appointments into the various boards.
He listed the boards to include State Universal Basic Education, State Secondary Education, the State Local Government Service Commission, the State House of Assembly Service Commission and the State Board of Internal Revenue Service.
Eyo said: “Recently, His Excellency constituted the Board of the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB). It’s difficult to know what formula the Governor uses to ensure fairness in the distribution of these projects, industries and appointments. In fact, it seems while each announcement of appointments gives joy to other parts of the State, it heightens pains and sorrow in Oron Nation.
“For purposes of appointments and in the interest of justice and fairness, Boards, Agencies and Commissions are usually graded and governments ensure that the different ethnic and political configurations of the State are taken into account in the distribution of these offices.
“The Federal Character Principle of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is designed for ethnic inclusiveness for national cohesion. The same should not only be domesticated in the State, it must be generally seen to be so. Of course, this was the case until 2007.
“The Governor isn’t inclined to distributing political offices, infrastructures and industries based on ethnic groupings which constitute the State, the minimum he can do to ensure fairness is to resort to federal constituencies as the basis for the distribution of appointments and sharing of infrastructures in the State. Anything other than this will continue to result in the kind of lopsidedness and imbalance we are presently witnessing in the State”.

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Niger Delta

Okowa Sends Two Bills To Delta Assembly For Consideration

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Wednesday, forwarded two executive bills to Delta State House of Assembly for legislative consideration and passage.
The bills which were contained in two separate letters sent to the assembly were read by the Speaker, Sheriff Oborevwori, during plenary in Asaba.
The bills seek to repeal the Delta State Judiciary Fund Management (Financial Autonomy) Law 2019 and the Delta State House of Assembly Fund Management (Financial Autonomy) Law 2018.
The bills also seek to enact the Delta State Judiciary Fund Management (Financial Autonomy) Law 2021 and the Delta State House of Assembly Service Commission Fund Management (Financial Autonomy) 2021.
Okowa said both bills when fully repealed and re-enacted would help to strengthen the full financial autonomy of both institutions in the state.
According to Okowa, the re-enactment of these bills will also help provide for the management of funds accruing to the state judiciary and that of the assembly from the consolidated Revenue Fund of the state.
He also said the bills would help in enhancing sustainable accountability, transparency, effective and efficient utilisation of the funds and other matters connected therewith.
Also at Wednesday’s plenary, the assembly received a letter from the governor, nominating Chief Pereotu Okoye for appointment as member of the Governing Board, Warri/Uvwie and Environs Special Area Development Agency.
The nomination of Okoye is also contained in a letter also read by the speaker.
Okowa said that nomination of Okoye was sequel to the death of a member of the governing board, Dr Sunny Ezonfade.
Consequently, the speaker directed that the nominee should submit 35 copies of his Curriculum Vitae to the Office of the Clerk of the House on or before August 2 and appear for screening on August 3.

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Niger Delta

NUJ Urges Lawmakers To Urgently Pass Bill Against Open Grazing

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The Delta State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has urged the State Legislature to speed up its legislative process on the passage of the bill prohibiting open grazing in the state.
The Chairman of the Union in the State, Mr Michael Ikeogwu, made the call on Wednesday in Asaba when he led the executive of the union in the state on a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori.
Ikeogwu noted that the call became imperative as it would help in curtailing the unwholesome activities of herders in and around the state.
The NUJ chairman, while commending the South-South Governors for their position towards the Prohibition of Open grazing in the region, lauded the State Government for its uncompromising position towards the ban on open grazing.
Ikeogwu, who bemoaned the activities of herders in the state, noted that until something drastic is done, giving the ban some legal backing through appropriate legislation, residents in the state, especially farmers, would continue to live in fear.
He commended the State Legislature for its unwavering commitments towards the well-being of the people of Delta State and he pledged the union’s unreserved partnership with the State Legislators towards driving the State government’s programmes and policies.
The chairman lauded the sterling leadership qualities of the Speaker of the Seventh Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, adding that his leadership style had gone a long way in enhancing the robust existing cooperation between the three arms of government in the state.
Responding, the Speaker assured the union of his administration’s readiness to sustain the existing cordial relationship with the media.
He said that the open grazing Bill had already gone through public hearing in the state, and assured the journalists that the House was already working assiduously to ensure that the bill was passed in the next few days.
He reiterated that the State Legislature was committed to making laws that would impact positively on the lives and well being of the people of Delta State.
Oborevwori, however, charged the leadership of the NUJ to continue to prevail on its members to ensure adequate and factual reportage, adding that the rate of false news is becoming increasingly alarming.
“You should talk to your members to ensure that they always verify facts before going to press.
“As we are now approaching the 2023 general elections, you should endeavour to sensitise your members to always stick to the ethics of the profession.
“They should avoid sensational reportage so that we will continue to have a credible society,” Oborevwori said.

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Diri Charges Security Agencies On Intelligence Gathering

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Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has urged security agencies to invest more time and resources in intelligence gathering in their effort to overcome banditry, insurgency and other securty challenges confronting the country.
He made the call at a retirement party organized by the state government in honour of the outgoing state Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli, in Yenagoa.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor emphasized the need for security agencies to adopt a holistic approach that will encourage the active participation of civilians in their campaign against insecurity.
According to Senator Diri, until security is seen as everyone’s business in society, the use of kinetic approach to addressing security challenges will yield little or no meaningful result.
While calling on the police and other security outfits to be above board in the performance of their duties, he urged people of the state to always volunteer information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of criminals in the state.
“Security is everybody’s business, but more often than not it is seen as nobody’s responsibility. Sometimes we want somebody to do something about security, and nobody does anything about it, and at the end of the day security is not taken seriously.
“But somebody has to do something about security. We should all do something about security so that our state can be safe.I will like our security agencies to be more proactive and preemptive in carrying out their duties because it is cheaper to be preventive. They have to make more effort in the area of intelligence gathering from the civil populace”, he said.
Describing CP Mike Okoli as a refined product with an unblemished record throughout his service in the Nigeria Police, Governor Diri said society had a lot to learn from the wealth of experience of the retiring Commissioner of Police.
He acknowledged the sacrifices being made by security personnel, noting that some of them get killed or become paralyzed in the course of securing lives and property, and therefore, must be appreciated in society.
“We need to learn a lot from the experiences of CP Mike Okoli. He had good cooperation with his colleagues in the state. No wonder, Bayelsa State had a decline in crime during their service in this state. As a government, we are very grateful. We know what these people (security agents) pass through. As civilians, we sleep at the risk of their breath, spine and throat.
“When you are sleeping and a crime is being committed, the Commissioner of Police and other service commanders would rush out because there is something going on.We are praying for CP Mike Okoli that as you are going into your retirement… from the Nigerian Police, we thank God on your behalf for being who you are and who you are going to be”, he added.
Earlier in their separate goodwill messages, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diete-Spiff, and the Commandant of Police Staff College, Jos, Assistant Inspector General, Don Awunah, acknowledged CP Okoli’s contributions to the relative peace and security in the state.
They described him as an outstanding and accomplished officer with an unblemished track record in the Nigerian Police and wished him the best in his future endeavours.
Responding, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli, thanked Governor Douye Diri, and his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, for honouring him by hosting his retirement thanksgiving reception.
Okoli also thanked the service commanders and everyone who made out time to attend the event, especially the Commandant of Police Staff College, Jos, A.I.G Don Awunah, and prayed God to bless them.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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