Traditional Rulers and institutions in the South South region have been described as integral stakeholders in the quest by the federal and state governments to implement sustainable development programmes for the peoples of the Niger Delta. This call was contained in a statement issued by the Ashcraft Centre for Democracy and Legislative Development, a civil society Non Governmental Organisation, to announce a planned retreat for traditional leaders of the South South scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State from 24th to 27th August, 2009. According to the statement, signed by the Secretary, Planning Committee, Dr Chiakor, Alfred Orkuma, the retreat is a signature event planned with the view to building the capacities of traditional royalties to enable them respond to operating challenges in a democratic dispensation especially in the areas of advocacy, mobilization, community development, conflict mediation and resolution. Dr. Chiakor said that, “The imperative of the retreat is predicated on the premise that as Nigeria seeks to build and strengthen its democracy, there is the compelling urgency to recognize the contributions and centrality of traditional institutions in the configuration of its democratic equation”. Speaking further the Ashcraft Scribe stated that, “The government, both at the Federal, state and local levels are conscious of the necessity of mainstreaming traditional institutions in its evolving democracy and at the same time consolidating mechanisms for grassroots development, advocacy and conflict mediation and resolution and has taken major steps in involving traditional institutions in the democratic governance project” adding that “This is manifested in the empowerment initiatives for the traditional institutions like procurement of automobiles and other welfare packages. It is therefore not enough that these welfarist initiatives are provided without definitive roles designed for the institutions. This informs the thrust of this retreat,” the statement said. Highlighting the importance of traditional rulers in nation building, the statement opined that, “traditional institutions can valuably orientate their different communities towards their respective values, cultures and histories, as basis on which politics can be construed.” Explaining the motivation for the retreat, the statement reported that the event will help to align and harmonize traditional governance institutions with the mechanisms of the modern state amongst other imperatives. “This retreat is imperative because it has a direct practical relevance in seeking to help shape the future of our collective identity, strengthen the ideals of our traditional institutions to our collective psyche and as well invest in it as a strategy for positive confidence building without forgetting our collective history and heritage” The idea behind all this, the statement continued, “is to keep the flame of our rich cultural heritage alive without losing the authority to interprete the meaning of concepts that are essential constituents of our unique traditions”. Speaking further, Dr. Chiakor also noted that, “This is principally borne out by a growing recognition that capable democratic states must be grounded on indigenous social values and contexts, while adapting to changing realities” According to him, the retreat also hopes to seize the opportunity to confront head on two grave problems: the considerable loss of confidence among citizens in the effectiveness and providence of our traditional institutions, and the profound insecurity of our people in a world that is changing more swiftly and fundamentally than ever before. The retreat, which is scheduled to take place at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt Metropolis from the 24th to 27th August, 2009, is being put together by the Ashcraft Centre for Democracy and Legislative Development, a non- partisan, non profit making CSO which operates a neutral forum for open discussion and informed dialogue and whose core objective is to build capacities for good governance, human resources engineering and policy stimulation.
Guber Polls: Diri Charges Appointees, Others On Democracy Defence …Says APC’s Sylva Failed As Ex-Gov, Minister
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has charged his appointees and members of the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) to stand firm in defence of democracy at the November 11 Governorship election in the state.
He also called on local and international lovers of democracy to show keen interest in the forthcoming elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states in order to ensure a free, fair and transparent process.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Diri, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement, said Senator Diri spoke during separate meetings held with the PDP State Working Committee at its secretariat in Yenagoa, the state capital, and at another with his appointees at the late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa.
The Governor expressed optimism that with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ensuring transparency and fairness, and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) working optimally, votes in the November election would count.
The Bayelsa helmsman, who decried the threats of violence by one of the governorship candidates in the election, urged politicians to play by the rules in order to deepen democracy and not throw the state or country into crisis.
He urged party members to be steadfast and committed towards ensuring victory for the PDP in the election.
“I call on all lovers of democracy in Nigeria and Africa to put their eyes on the elections in these three states – Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi – so that we can have peaceful, transparent, credible and free elections.
“If we truly love our state, this is the time to stand firm. It is the time to know the difference between those who have character, integrity and those who are like commodities in the market to be purchased.
“Beware of commodity buyers during election. Let us not turn ourselves to commodities. Let us be good party men”, he said.
Speaking on his major challenger from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Timipre Sylva, he said he failed as a former Governor of the state and as a Minister.
He also stated that Sylva, as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, connived with others to take away Bayelsa’s only oil asset, the Atala oil field.
Diri enjoined lovers of the state to reject the APC candidate to ensure continuity of the developmental projects of his administration.
He restated his call on the Federal Government to work with him to find a lasting solution to the Bassambiri Community crisis being ochestrated by some members of the opposition party in the state.
Earlier, in a motion moved by the Senator representing Bayelsa Central, Senator Konbowei Benson, and seconded by the House of Representatives member for the Ogbia Federal Constituency, Mitema Obordor,. the party’s working committee passed a vote of confidence on the Governor, saying he has performed outstandingly.
The committee also ratified the nomination of Oyisor Didi as the party’s new youth leader.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Mr. Solomon Agwana, charged the party’s faithful to ensure that PDP wins in all the 2,244 polling units in the state in the governorship election.
Also, the governor’s Special Adviser on Political Affairs, High Chief Collins Cocodia, said given his remarkable performance in office, Senator Diri has earned the trust and confidence of the people and that victory was assured.
In his goodwill message, the PDP National Financial Secretary, Daniel Woyengikuro, said Governor Diri is a great leader that the party at the national level holds in high esteem.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
Obi Unveils LP Candidate’s Manifesto, Campaign Office In Bayelsa …Tasks Citizens On Electing Responsible, Accountable Leaders
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 Presidential election, Mr Peter Obi, midweek, inaugurated the campaign office of the the Bayelsa State Governorship candidate of the LP for the November 11, 2023 gubernatorial election, Eng. Udengs Eradiri in Yenagoa, the State capital.
The Tide reports that Mr Obi, who also unveiled the manifesto of the candidate, christened “People, Education, Agriculture and Power (PEAP)”agenda, noted that the bane of the nation’s underdevelopment and poverty was because Nigeria, rather than being a production economy, has drifted to a consumption economy in the comity of states.
He reiterated that the only way out of the worrisome situation was for the citizenry to hold leaders accountable through unbiased investigation into the antecedents surrounding their emergence.
He also said all campaign promises and manifestos of candidates standing for any election in the nation be subjected to citizens scrutiny prior to, and in the post elections era.
Obi also described the state as the cradle of the hydrocarbon industry, maintaining that upon his arrival to the state, there was no commensurate development which has been made to bear by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“After Sokoto, Bayelsa State is ranked the second poorest state in Nigeria. That’s because the Federal Government has not been fair to the state. Nigeria hasn’t really been fair to Bayelsa State.
“Driving from Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, to here in Bayelsa State, I’ve not seen any good road.
“Last year, this State was completely flooded. It was under water, and so I visited this State and found out that the Federal Government totally neglected this State. Nothing came from them.
“For over 67years the Federal Government has been exploring and exploiting crude oil in this state and there’s no good road leading to this state.
“If for the over sixty years that they’ve been drilling oil here, the Federal Government has done something, even if it a was just a kilometer of road, by now there would have been good road to this state.
“The only alternative to change this bad scenario is to vote for Eng. Udengs Eradiri, the Labour Party’s governorship candidate, come November 11th, 2023″, he said.
Also speaking, the National Chairman of the Party, Barr. Julius Abure, said the national Secretariat of the party and its presidential candidate decided to come personally to campaign for its governorship candidate, and unveil his manifesto because the party believes in his candidature.
Abure noted that the party was poised to winning the polls, saying Eradiri was the most qualified and competent amongst all the candidates from all the parties which have fielded candidates for the elections.
“The Labour Party candidate, Eradiri, is the only candidate contesting the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship elections with a blueprint. APC and PDP don’t have a blueprint.
“Remember that our Presidential candidate, Obi won the 2023 Presidential elections. I advise you to vote and defend your votes for the Labour Party governorship candidate, Udengs Eradiri”, Abure said.
Meanwhile, Eradiri reiterated his willingness to partner youths and other well meaning individuals towards the rapid socio-economic development and transformation of the State from its current ranking as a poor state to a wealthy state.
He stated that he would build technology and manufacturing hubs in the state if elected as Governor, come November 11th, 2023.
The Tide gathered that the Bayelsa State Labour Party’s governorship candidate, Eng. Eradiri, was one time President of the Pan-Ijaw youth body, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC Worldwide), and was also a former Commissioner in the Bayelsa State Ministries of Youths Development, and Environment.
“We’d build export hubs in our airport, and we’d begin to export our commodities here in the state to Europe and other parts of the world, thereby creating jobs for our unemployed youths and creating wealth for our people.
“We’d make Bayelsa State the best in Education and Power, Agriculture. We’d put our people, that’s you and you and all of us first in our plans and programmes. We’ld make our health sector work. We’d infact have the best health system and education system in the nation, West Africa and all over the African continent.
“We don’t have money to give to voters on election day. But we know they’d bring you money. That’s your money, and not theirs. But just collect the money and vote for Udengs Eradiri and Benjamin Nathus as Governor and Deputy Governor, come November 11th, 2023, and your life, this state will never be the same again”, Eradiri said.
Speaking earlier, in his opening remarks, the State Chairman of the Labour Party, Mr Eneyi Zidougha, thanked Bayelsans for having confidence on the party’s gubernatorial candidate.
He stated that amongst nine aspirants that contested for the party’s gubernatorial primaries, Eradiri emerged victorious because he was the best and most competent for the position, noting that the party was going to win the November 11th, 2023 polls with landslide victory.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
Address Erosion Problem In Etsako, Rep Member Urges FG
Rep. Dekeri Anamero (APC-Edo), representing Etsako Federal Constituency, has urged the Federal Government to address the gully erosion ravaging the constituency.
Anamero made the call during an assessment visit to the Jattu-Fugar-Agenebode Road cut off by gully erosion.
He said the erosion had cut off Etsako West Local Government from Etsako Central and East local Government Area, which are part of the constituency.
Anamero described the situation as worrisome while calling for urgent action by government.
“I want to deeply express my concern about what you have been passing through.
“All I can appeal for is to exercise little patient, I want to assure you as your representative that I will not stop until succor is brought to the people of Etsako Federal Constituency”, Anamero said.
The lawmaker disclosed that officials from the ecological agency had visited the site and called on government and relevant authorities to expedite action on the fixing of the road and other gully sites in the constituency.
“I want to use this medium to call on the Federal Government to pay attention to the plight of my people towards addressing the menace of gully erosion threatening my constituency”, he said.
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