The immediate past Governor òf Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has said that the state is in safe hands under the new leadership òf Governor Douye Diri.
The former Governor, who called for strengthened unity among Ijaw youths across the country urged them to give the expected support to Governor Diri to deliver on his mandate as governor òf the state and the Ijaw nation.
A statement by his Media Advisor, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, quoted him as having made the comment while receiving the Exemplary Leadership Award from the leadership òf the Central Zone òf the Ijaw Youth Council led by its Chairman, Comrade Kennedy Olorogun, in Abuja, last Friday.
Hon Dickson explained that he took the deliberate decision to back Senator Diri for governor because of his conviction that the governor who was the pioneer national organising Secretary òf the Ijaw national congress had the critical understanding of the challenges of the Ijaw struggle within the Nigerian federation.
“Now by the special intervention of God through the judiciary, Bayelsa is now in safe hands and I want to urge all of you to join hands with the governor who himself understands the challenges of the struggle. And that’s one of the overriding considerations I had in my mind when I supported His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri, against all odds.
“Governor Diri for me is a governor of Bayelsa State and the Ijaw nation. At the very uncertain and trying times such as the times we are managing in this country, the Ijaw nation must be together and you the youths must be at the vanguard of promoting that unity, first amongst yourselves and then, be together to advance the collective ideals of the IYC and INC.
“I call for greater unity on the part of all Ijaw youths because the objectives for which the IYC was set up years ago are still relevant and the IYC as a body will continue to be relevant as far as the struggles and challenges of our people are concerned. So we need a more unified IYC body so I call for understanding, dialogue, I call on all youth leaders to come together and contribute to putting the house together.
“I also call for support for all our leaders particularly, for the new governor of Bayelsa State, a state I have always christened the Jerusalem of the Ijaw nation. Bayelsa is in safe hands and the Ijaw nation can now move forward.
The former governor, who spoke briefly about his eight year stewardship as governor said that his administration changed the narrative of development in all critical sectors such as education, health, infrastructure among others under very challenging circumstances.
The governor, who commended the members of his team for their dedication, and Bayelsans for their support, said that it was worthy of note that states in the federation were visiting Bayelsa State to understudy its health insurance scheme which was considered the best in the country.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the IYC Central Zone, Comrade Kennedy Olorogun, commended the governor for the unprecedented appointment of youths into high and strategic offices under the former governor.
Minister Urges NDDC Board To Be Unique
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Umana Okon Umana, has called on the newly inaugurated Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to ensure they make a difference for the development of the region.
Umana said this in his keynote remarks, while declaring open the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board and Management retreat in Uyo, at the weekend.
He said the inauguration of the board was meant to enhance the development of the Niger Delta Region and charged them to live above board in the discharge of their duties.
He urged them to strictly adhere to the rules of due diligence and transparency in line with the Establishment and Public Procurement Acts.
He said the inauguration of the board was meant to enhance the development of the Niger Delta region, adding that the region, which has suffered neglect and deprivation for so long, needed a new lease of life
The minister called on the board to focus on key areas like the establishment act and public procurement act as Nigerians expect a turnaround of the commission to reflect the core mandate of developing the region.
Umana called on the participants to set a template that would facilitate rapid development of the niger delta and Nigeria in general.
“This retreat is principally to ensure that the new board are properly equipped to provide a new direction for the development of the Niger Delta region,” he said.
Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NDDC, Chief Samuel Ogbuku, in his address of welcome, said the board was expected to do something differently to take the Niger Delta region to greater hight.
Ogbuku said the new board had a template for sustainable programme for youths and every citizen of the region.
He said the commission would endeavour to create partnership with International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other stakeholders through public private partnerships initiative.
He urged participants to evolve ideas, programmes and blueprints towards taking the region to a new level of development.
“We will soon unfold our packages for the development of the region. The Niger Delta Development Commission Board is expected to make great difference this time around,” he said.
The Tide’s source reports that the three-day retreat for NDDC board and management is with the theme; “NDDC: Making a Difference.”
The source also reports that a communique is expected at the end of the retreat to address issues affecting the niger delta region and proffer possible solutions.
FG Trains 50 Farmers On Agroforestry Model In Edo
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has trained 50 coconut farmers and processors on agroforestry system-based plantation model, to improve the livelihoods of the farmers in Edo State.
The capacity building was organised under the coconut value chain of the ministry, in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) in Benin.
Declaring the training open, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said the exercise was part of efforts of the Federal Government to attain food security and self-sufficiency in Nigeria.
Represented by Chukwuemeka Ukattah, a Director in the ministry, Abubakar said President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to turn around the nation’s economy through agriculture by its unwavering support for farmers and empowerment of women and youths.
He said it was an effort to attain food security, self-sufficiency as well as improve the livelihood of coconut farmers and processors.
“The government, through the coconut value chain, decided to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain a successful coconut plantation.
“We will cover topics such as nursery establishment, field development, harvesting and processing to meet local and international markets standard and demand.
“With the right training, coconut value chain has the potentials to contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP and generate employment,” Abubakar said.
The Executive Director of NIFOR, Dr Celestine Ikuenobe, who welcomed participants to the workshop, said Nigeria’s coconut production was far below the demand.
“I am sure that if the National Coconut Producers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) works with this agroforestry based plantation model, the value chain will be on a scale to contribute significantly to our economy.
“We suddenly got a huge demand for coconut seedlings in the last three to four years and we were caught napping because we did not prepare for the fact that there was going to be an upsurge in the demand for coconut seedlings,” he said.
Ikuenobe explained that NIFOR was strengthening its capacity to meet the sudden upsurge in the demand for the seedlings.
“We are working to invigorate our coconut gardens in addition to other identified seed trees,” he added.
According to him, in the last two years, “we have replanted our coconut germplasm and in the next five years, there will be enough to provide nuts and materials for the industry.”
Council Re-Proclaims Ekpo Abasi-Otu As Obong Of Calabar
The Etubom’s Conclave of the Obong of Calabar Palace has re-proclaimed Edidem Ekpo Abasi-Otu V, as the Obong of Calabar.
This was in compliance with the Supreme Court Judgement of January 13, which ordered the Etubom’s Conclave of the Obong of Calabar’s Palace to conduct fresh selection process for the throne of the Obong of Calabar.
Chairman, Etubom’s Conclave, Etubom Ntiero Effiwat, stated this recently while reading a document signed by 13 of the conclave members before the others at the palace of the Obong of Calabar.
According to Effiwat, Abasi-Otu of Adiabo Ikot Mbo Otu House, having fully satisfied with candidate qualifications and eligibility, the Etubom’s Conclave therefore, declared him the successor.
“He is hereby on this day, Jan. 18, 2023 been proclaimed as successor to the throne of the Obong of Calabar.
“The qualified Etuboms who fall under this group were communicated to and directed to produce and present their nominee to the Etubom’s Conclave by Jan. 18, 2023.
“The most senior Etubom of Atai Iboku group, Etubom Otu Efa-Otu, presented thier selected nominee for the throne of Obong of Calabar in person of HRH, Ekpo Abasi-Otu of Adiabo Ikot Mbo Otu House,” he said.
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