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PDP Chieftain Tasks Delta Govt On Illegal Fees Collection

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A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has appealed to Delta State Government to enforce a law enacted to stop illegal and forceful collection of levies known as community development fees or “deve” from the public and private developers in the state.
Recall that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa assented to a bill entitled “Delta State Public and Private Properties Protection Bill 2018’ in August last year. The bill criminalised the illegal and forceful collection of levies from public and private developers in the state.
Speaking to newsmen in Asaba, Delta State capital, Onuesoke said since the governor signed the bill into law, Delta communities were still indulging in the illegal and forceful collection of levels from private and public developers in the state because the government had not implemented the law in total or come out with a penalty to punish anyone found breaking the law.
Onuesoke said that harassment of developers particularly by youths under the guise of collecting illegal fees chased away investors who are ready to do business in the state.
He further argued that a situation where an investor was asked to pay certain amount of money to some group of people in a community before he was allowed to set up a company or structure was fraudulent, retrogressive and not in the best interest of the development of communities and the state.
The former governorship aspirant maintained that beside scaring away investors, the collection of such illegal dues was responsible for thuggery, assassination and communal warfare as those involved clashed among themselves as they scramble to take control of the area so that they would be in position to collect the illegal dues.

Teachers’ Recruitment Purely On Merit, Says Delta HoS
Warri – Reginald Bayoko, the Delta State Head of Service (HoS), has dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the ongoing recruitment of teachers in the state was a mere formality, revealing that the exercise was based on merit and free from interference from any quarters.
Bayoko said that the state governor has warned officials in charge to recruit the best hands irrespective of party affiliation, creed and religion.
Addressing newsmen on the state of the exercise, the HoS disclosed that even the governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has no slot and that anybody who successfully scaled through the process at the end of the exercise got the employment strictly on merit.
He emphatically dismissed the rumour making the round that the employment of 1,000 teachers to boost the state teaching service has been shared to politicians, senior government officials and members of the state House of Assembly and commissioners.
He said the online application and the computer based test assisted in reducing physical interaction with the applicants.
He said: “That is what we are saying, people have different mindset. They are seen the reality on ground but they are saying the other side. This is because of the level of skepticism they hold. As I’m even telling you now, the governor does not even have a slot.
“I was in a meeting where the issue was raised and the consensus was that the employment should be merit-driven. You find that the recruitment was computerised, application was online, and there was no interaction with anybody. There was a computer based test as well.
“This was to reduce the level of interaction. The score was almost instantaneous. So, you knew whether you scaled through or not. There was no form of influence or whatever. A number of persons came to me but I was helpless.
“I told them that is the process and there is nothing I could do about it. Even the governor himself could not inject himself into the process. So, it’s not true that any slot was shared,” he added.

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Okpanam-Ibusa Isheagu-Ewulu Roads Ready For Inauguration-Aniagwu 

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As part of the preparations to mark the one-year anniversary of Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s administration in Delta State, the Commissioner for Works, Rural and Riverine Roads, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, embarked on inspection of the Okpanam/Ibusa and Isheagu/Ewulu Roads scheduled for inauguration.
The roads, which spanned 5.3 kilometers and 9.1 kilometers respectively, and approximately 90% completed, connects major towns and would boost the socio-economic lives of the people in the area.
Speaking to journalists after inspecting the roads on Tuesday, Aniagwu reiterated the governor’s commitment to delivering quality projects to Deltans in line with his MORE Agenda.
He said “Governor Oborevwori has outlined numerous projects and programmes to mark his one year in office.
“Apart from roads, there are other projects and programmes, including empowerment initiatives anchored by several ministries.
“The Governor has instructed us to ensure that all roads are top-notch before he proceeds to commission them. Even if contractors claim that roads have been completed, he wants us to verify if they have been built to specifications.
“We hope that in the next few days, they will complete the project and exit the site to enable us carry out the final inspection”.

According to him, “That’s the same approach the Governor wants us to take with every project. He doesn’t just want to commission projects; he wants to ensure that any road being commissioned has been done according to specifications and provides value to the people of Delta by ensuring that the money paid equals the work done”.

Albert Ograka, Asaba

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Police Arrest Foreigner, Two Others Over Alleged Kidnapping In Delta

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The Police Command in Delta State has arrested three kidnap suspects including a foreigner over kidnapping incidents in the State.
The command‘s spokesman, SP Bright Edafe told newsmen yesterday in Warri that the suspects were arrested on Saturday and Sunday at their hideouts in Warri.
Edafe said that the suspects were arrested by the combined team of police operatives attached to the Orerokpe division, and operatives from the Force Intelligence Unit, Abuja.
He said that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Orerokpe division, CSP Paul Oboware, upon receipt of the information, immediately mobilised and led his patrol team to the criminals’ hideouts in Warri.
“Intelligence gathered on some kidnapping incidents in the Warri axis revealed that it is being carried out by Yakubu Ya’u at Oha and Ughwagba Communities in Okpe Local Government Area.
“The suspect and his gang kidnap unsuspecting residents for ransom.
“On May 11, following combined effort from police operatives of the command and operatives from the Force Intelligence Unit, Abuja on the hideout of the suspect.
“The DPO, Orerokpe division immediately mobilised and led his patrol teams to the suspect’s hideout in Warri, and after a painstaking search, he was arrested,” he said.
Edafe said that preliminary investigation and interrogation of the suspect led to the arrest of two other key members of the gang which included a Cameroon national on Sunday.
He alleged that the suspects were responsible for the several kidnap incidents in Orerokpe, Sapele, Warri, and environs, adding that the victims had equally identified them.
Edafe said that the suspects led the police detectives to Ughwagba Community in Okpe Local Government Area, where two Automatic pump action guns, a live Cartridge,  one knife were recovered.
He said that preliminary investigations were ongoing, adding that the command has intensified efforts to arrest the other fleeing members of the gang.

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Forum Unveils Vision, Commends Diri On Project Execution 

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A group, the Bayelsa State Founding Fathers Forum (BSFFF) has vowed to continually pursue the vision behind the struggle for the creation of the State.
Chairman of the forum, Sir Itelemo Frank Omiebi, stated this yesterday during an interview with The Tide in Yenagoa, the State Capital.
He said though the BSFFF has reservations about recent calls on its leadership to speak up against perceived marginalisation of the State by the Federal Government and associated MDAs, he noted that there is the general notion that the forum was made up of responsible, patriotic and capable statesmen in their own right.
The Tide learnt that the BSFFF is a group of statesmen of the Ijaw extraction, mostly of Bayelsa origin, who played prominent roles in the struggle for the creation of the State out of the Old Rivers State in 1996 under the late Genenera Sani Abacha military junta.
Omiebi disclosed that though as statesmen, the forum for sometime decided to keep mum on certain issues to avoid unnecessary heating of the polity, the rationale behind the convocation of the forum, he said, stemmed from the need to create a homogeneous Ijaw state out of the Old Rivers State which the forum has achieved far back in 1996.
He, however, stated that while issues bordering on marginalisation of the State were worrisome, the forum had continued to play an advisory role to successive administrations of the State.
“The vision of the BSFFF is tripartite: we’re to work towards the creation of an egalitarian State capable of raising committed, responsible and patriotic leaders.
“The forum is also to effect overall infrastructural and sectoral development of the State, and to promote human capital development with particular reference to education, so as to reverse our disadvantaged State in the comity of States in Nigeria”, the forum said.
The chairman also noted that there were consummate professionals from all walks of life willing to render needed support and services to the State in the group whenever they are consulted on matters affecting the development and well being of the State.
The forum’s leadership, which also bared its mind on the present administration of the State, described the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, as a bonafide member of the forum, saying the workings of his administration were in tandem with the vision of the forum.
“But we like to commend Governor Diri who himself is a member of the forum. The Governor has been  working according to the vision of the BSFFF in the provision of infrastructure and, in other areas of governance.
“We want to especially thank him for the peace we’ve in the State. And we also want to commend him for the security of lives and properties of citizens across the State”.

“On infrastructure, we want to thank Governor Diri for continuing the Senatorial roads projects in the state. These and many more were part of the vision of the forum”, the BSFFF leadership added.

Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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