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Sylva’s Long Expectation

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As the  Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) governorship primary in Bayelsa State comes up on November 19, the convoluted drama going on in the state over the choice of who becomes the party’s flagbearer is getting interesting daily.

The out come of the first hurdle which is the screening had already complicated the issue the more,thereby creating doubt and suspense among the contestants and their supporters.

For weeks now ,the issue of who becomes the governorship flagbearer of the most popular party in Africa has dominated the public space and discussions with so much frenzy and anxiety.

The party screening committee failed to clear Governor Timipre Sylva ,former Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr Ben Murray Bruce, and the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe,to contest its forthcoming primary election for the governorship race in the State.

The party, subsequently released the names of aspirants it had screened and cleared for the race and the names of Governor Sylva,Alaibe and Bruce were  missing.

The release of the list of cleared aspirants followed an emergency meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC), which was held on Monday in Abuja to consider reports on the preparations for the forthcoming gubernatorial primary in Bayelsa State.

According to a statement issued last Tuesday in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, the NWC also received the report of the Screening Appeal Panel, headed by Mrs Abiodun Olujimi, former deputy governor of Ekiti State.

It said “after a thorough review of the reports of the Screening Panel and the Screening Appeal Panel, “the leadership of the party has so far cleared the first batch of contestants for the primary in the state”.

The statement gave the names of those cleared as Oruta Justine Boloubo; Henry Seriake Dickson; Enai Christopher Fullpower and Kalango Michael Youppele.

The PDP statement added:  ”The NWC session to conclude the review exercise continues in order to consider cases of other aspirants on their individual merits. All party members, particularly stakeholders in Bayelsa State, are to please note that the NWC is handling this exercise painstakingly and shall communicate all its decisions in due course.”

It therefore advised party members to await the decisions of the NWC on this issue and mobilise all their supporters for the success of the forthcoming primary.

However, reports revealed that though the PDP stated that the names released were just the first batch, Governor Sylva’s case is as good as closed, following the alleged endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan of his exclusion from the race.

The party leaders were said to have sought and received the president’s approval. Evidence suggested that Sylva may have violated rules guiding the party and security mix up.

Bruce was said to have been stopped because he holds dual citizenship of Nigeria and the Britain.while the former NDDC boss,Timi Alaibe who was expecting a waiver was denied the opportunity which was given to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar before the April presidential elections.

The long expectation of Governor Sylva may not come as the macabre dance of Nigeria political intrigues is about to play its ugly head again in the oil rich state of Bayelsa. The last time we experienced such case was in 2003 Governorship election in Anambra State.The first term of Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju was coming to an end and he was warming up for re-election in spite of the fact that many in and out of the state knew he had failed to perform for the first tenure.

The then Governor who had failed to provide infrastructures in four years for his people, unsettled civil servants salaries  for about six months, schools were on prolonged strike was shamelessly thinking to come back to continue impoverish and underdevelop the people.but as God may wish,he was at the same time not in good term with his political godfather,Chief Emeka Offor. And Offor had the ears of the authorities in Abuja .Mbadinuju was muscled out of the peoples Democratic party Governorship race and he  accepted his fate and went and licked his wounds

The incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State may get the Mbadinuju measurement with the way things are going on in the race to fly the PDP ticket in the February,12 election.

Governors from the South South geo-political zone on Friday  met with President Goodluck Jonathan in a last minutes bid to secure the clearance of the embattled Governor,Chief Sylva to contest the primary in two weeks time.

Although the out come of the meeting was not known,but disappointment could be seen in tthe faces of supporters of the incumbent Governor and his camp.

The leader of the team and the Chairman of the Governors Forum (NGF) Governor Chibuike Amaechi,along side his colleagues, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom,Liyel Imoke of Cross Rivers State and  Timipre Sylva were reported not happy as they came out from the meeting, an indication that all is not well with Sylva

As Sylva camp is fighting to regain power at the state level,the camps of opposing contenders for the race are jubilating and working hard to ensure that Sylva does not get cleared.

Sylva had raised alarm over what he described as “a desperate attempt by unnamed forces to exclude him from contesting the governorship primary of the PDP,” alleging that he has not been told that he has been disqualified by the party.

At a press conference in Abuja,  , the embattled Governor said the party had cleared him and had issued him a provisional clearance certificate, with serial number 0000012, dated October 28, 2011.

According to Sylva, whose statement was read to newsmen by Nathanial  Egba,the commissioner for Information in the state,said the reports of his disqualification were, therefore, unfounded.

Sylva said his encounter with the PDP gubernatorial screening committee held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was warm and friendly, adding that his subsequent appearance before the gubernatorial screening appeal committee in Abuja did not give him any cause for concern.

The PDP NWC is expected to either ratify or reject the report of Abiodun Olujimi-led appeal panel, which recommended Sylva’s disqualification.

No reason has, so far, been given as the official position upon which the disqualification was hinged, but there were strong indications that it was not unconnected with some classified reports which security agencies reportedly shared with the PDP’s panel on alleged treasonable utterances of Governor Sylva, who allegedly threatened the life of President Jonathan and his immediate family.

Notwithstanding the development, Sylva said his reported romance with other political parties “is another segment of blackmail” against his person, saying that he remained in PDP even if the NWC ratified his disqualification.

Against the widespread rumour that he was on his way to joining the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) or All Progressive Grant Alliance ( APGA), Governor Sylva affirmed his commitment that he remained in the PDP.

As we expect the outcome of the Governors meeting with the president this week,if preference  must be given,it should also be extended to others whose names were also missing in the list so that it does not turn a slap on democracy.Already,there have been multiple claims of being the president anointed among the aspirants.the current delays and suspends gives room for such claims to strive.

Many believed that if  Governor Sylva is allowed to contest,waiver should be given to those who are seeking for it on merit and contributions for the party.A level playing ground should be given to all. Above all,the people should be allowed to choose who govern the state.

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One Year Not Enough To Judge Tinubu -Kukah

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The Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese and Founder of the Kukah Centre, Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah, has been reported to have visited President Bola Tinubu at the State House in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Addressing State House correspondents shortly after meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, the cleric said one year was not enough to pass judgement on President Tinubu’s government.
Bishop Kukah said while the administration was providing solutions to the myriad of challenges, Nigerians need to get a sense of how soon they expect to breathe a sigh of relief.
He, however, said that the government needs to communicate to Nigerians when it will fix the current socio- economic challenges in the country.
According to him, Nigerians were in various levels of pains.
“I’m sure that many people will tell you that one year is not enough to make a judgement. However, from where we all stand, we know that we are all in a very difficult situation.
“Nigerians are in various levels of pain and they are pains that are unintended. But, they are as a result of certain policy decisions that hopefully, with time, can be amended in order to serve the welfare of ordinary people,” Bishop Kukah explained.
He said it is the responsibility of the government to ensure better living conditions and security of the citizens.
“I believe that the essence of government is to guarantee the welfare and security of ordinary citizens. I believe that the times that we are in are very very difficult times, and nobody should be under any illusion.
“But, there are also times for renewal. We just need to commit ourselves to the fact that building a good society takes a lot of time.
“This is politics. I’m very hopeful, we ordinary people cry more than the bereaved. The important thing is that politicians will fix their problems”, he added.
“Rivers State is a place that is very dear to me because I have been associating with them for a very long time. But, look, when politicians fight, don’t get carried away because they have their capacity to fix their quarrels.
“I hope and pray that Rivers State will sooner than later reposition itself because it is not an insignificant part of Nigeria,” he said.

 

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One Year In Office: Unity Road Stakeholders Laud Fubara Over Andoni Section Commissioning 

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Some stakeholders in Andoni Local Government Area have lauded Governor Siminalayi Fubara for the inclusion of the Andoni section of the Unity Road among roads to be commissioned as part of activities to mark his first year in office.
It would be recalled that the Andoni section of the Ogoni/Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro Unity Road was initially slated for commissioning on Wednesday, May 15 but later shifted to Saturday, May 18, 2024.
Speaking exclusively with The Tide, some stakeholders commended the Governor for being courageous to complete a road that was abandoned for 24 years.
They said the completion of the road has given the people of Andoni a sense of belonging, adding that it has ended sea piracy in Andoni.
A community leader in Ngo Town, headquarters of Andoni Local Government Area, Chief Awajiokaunye Mbosowo, said the people of Andoni, and Ngo in particular, are very grateful to Governor Fubara for the road project.
According to him: “We are very grateful to His Excellency, our amiable, most focused and action-packed Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Joseph Fubara for his timely response and completion  of the Andoni section of Ogoni/Andoni Opobo/Nkoro Unity Road”.
Mbosowo, who is the head chief of Ukumor War Canoe House of Ngo, said Governor Fubara had broken the jinx as far as development of Andoni was concerned.
He said the Andoni people have never had it so good, adding that the road was abandoned for over 24 years by previous administrations.
“The road was awarded by His Excellency, Sir (Dr) Peter Odili, during his second tenure in office .
“We congratulate the governor for his zeal, determination and vigour to complete the road within his first year in office .
“This is most commendable because despite all the challenges, distractions and economic downturn, you braved it all and completed the road in good time and quality. We say Thank You for your unflinching love for the Andoni people.
“We sincerely appreciate and welcome you to the commissioning of this all important project that now links our Ngo, headquarters of Andoni Local Government Area and suburb communities that are on the main land.
“Your Excellency, for the purposes of record, this is the first time in history that a project of this magnitude would be completed and commissioned within the first year of the tenure (of an administration).
“We pray that  the good Lord continue to bless, keep and sustain you richly and grant you the grace to finish both your first and second tenures with joy and good health to the shame of your detractors”, he said.
Also speaking, a one time Chairman of Andoni Local Government Area, Apostle Felix Ayayi, said Governor Fubara has shown that he truly loves the people of Andoni and Obolo nation in general.

Apostle Ayayi described the road as a conduit through which billions of Naira in budgetary allocations had been siphoned and yet abandoned for 24 years, adding that because of this feat, the entire Andoni was now fully ‘Simplified’’.

In his response, former organizing secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Andoni Local Government Area, Elder Blessing Tiko, said the people of Andoni have started reaping the benefits of that road.

“People are happy that a road that started in the year 2000 and could not be completed, our son came and completed it in four months time.

“So, every true son of Andoni is happy with the Governor and any one who is not happy with the Governor is a witch”, he said

On his part, the leader of Obolo Sim Vanguard, Engr Kingston Silvanus, said the road has ended piracy and kidnapping along the Ngo water ways, noting that the people of Andoni will not fail to give the Governor total support.

John Bibor

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Fubara Has Created Conducive Investment Climate In Rivers -LG Boss

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The Chairman of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam, has commended the Rivers State governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, for creating a healthy investment climate in the state as he marks his administration’s one year in office.
The Council boss stated this while addressing newsmen shortly after the Simplified Movement’s thanksgiving service in celebration of the governor’s election victory and subsequent affirmation by the Supreme Court at Opobo, headquarters of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area.
Hon. Cookey-Gam said that owing to Governor Fubara’s pragmatic economic policies, Rivers State has become an investment destination with enormous potential.
He stressed that the governor has, within his first year in office, invested in the 23 local government areas  of the state, saying, “When you have a head of government who understands the role of government and what it takes to govern, he ensures that investors are comfortable”.
He expressed delight with the personality of Governor Fubara and assured him of his council’s support and cooperation towards changing the economy of Rivers State.
“We will continue to create an enabling environment for you to succeed,” Hon Cookey-Gam assured the governor, saying, “Please bring more investments to the state.”
The local government chairman also urged Rivers people and business owners in the state to gird their loins for an imminent investment boom, stressing that the Fubara-led administration was ready to deliver more development programmes across the state.
Hon Cookey-Gam maintained that Governor Fubara, who is set to commission a lineup of people oriented projects he has executed, was poised to bring transformational development initiatives to Rivers people as his government stabilises.
He described the governor’s one year development efforts as a job well done despite some daunting challenges bedeviling the state and Nigeria in general.
“We are solidly ready to back him to achieve the yearned dividends of democracy to the people”, Hon Cookey-Gam said, and encouraged the governor to stay focused as the generality of Rivers people were on his side.

Bethel Toby

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