Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called on politicians to avoid actions that would lead to bloodletting in the forthcoming 2023 elections.
Diri made the call recently in Yenagoa, the state capital, at the just-concluded Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.
A statement issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying the outcome of elections should be determined by the ballot box and not the strength of the gun.
The statement added that the ultimate power to enthrone leadership lies in the hands of God, recalling the bloodletting that characterised the 2019 governorship campaigns in Nembe community. The Governor cautioned that all political players should never allow the killing of youths in the state because of elections in spite of their ambitions.
He appreciated the sacrifices of fallen heroes and serving members of the Nigerian Armed Forces to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria, adding that the Remembrance Day should remind Nigerians of the sacrifices of the military and the need to live in peace and unity.
He called on all to support projects and intervention programmes initiated to care for the loved ones of fallen heroes and servicemen as a token of appreciation for the sacrifices the military men are making for the safety of all.
The Bayelsa helmsman also called on Bayelsans to unite and support his administration’s programmes to tackle under-development and poverty in order to achieve a prosperous Bayelsa.
“This 2022 will trigger another episode in the political dynamics of our nation’s democratic growth. I believe this occasion is ideal to reiterate my often-stated optimism that elections should be about ballots and not bullets. That we should count ballots and not bodies.
“I give this admonition with the greatest sense of responsibility because the many wasted lives cut down in the prime of their lives at Nembe during the 2019 governorship elections in this state remain indelible in our memories.
“Let us collectively vow that never again will the blood of Bayelsans water the ambitions of desperate politicians. Whereas the temptation to overzealously take matters into our own hands exists, let us pause and appreciate the fact that, ultimately, all power belongs unto God”, Diri said.
“Our debt of gratitude to those who choose to die for us even when they did not even know us should be immense.
“The essence of commemorating this day is not to glorify war. Rather, it is to recall the price that others had to pay for us to live in peace and thus commit ourselves to live in such a manner that future generations will have no need to fight wars. The labour of our heroes past should never be in vain.
“Let us continue to show love to our heroes and their loved ones by supporting the various projects and interventions that have been set up to care for our men and women in uniform. This includes but not limited to making financial commitments to yielding our place in queues.
“Bayelsans cannot afford to be separated in interest or divided in purpose at this crucial time in the history of our state and Nigeria. And as we have demonstrated several times over the nearly two years of this Government of Prosperity, we are better together. Let us unite to fight poverty, lack, ignorance and any other vices. These are our common enemies”, the Governor added.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Reps Member Loses In Delta Primary
A member of the House of Representatives from Delta State, Ben Igbakpa, has lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary.
Mr Igbakpa, who represents Ethiope Federal Constituency, was defeated by Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu, the daughter of a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
Mrs Ibori-Suenu scored 46 votes, while Mr Igbakpa scored 22 in a rerun.
Both aspirants had a tie, 34 votes each, during the Sunday’s primary, which caused a rerun to choose the party candidate for the 2023 election.
“I have lost my re-election bid,” Mr Igbakpa tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
“This is not the outcome we wanted. It is not the outcome the people of Ethiope Federal Constituency wanted.
“The cheers on Sunday, May 22, 2022, demonstrated that, but it does not satisfy the appetite of a few to revise our progress and blur the vision of our people,” he said, on the microblogging site.
The lawmaker said he gave his constituents a fair representation and that they had hope in his future representation, but that “all of these have been painfully stolen by the establishment.
“The grave silence on the streets amplifies the fatal setback for Ethiope Federal Constituency.
“My contest was never about me but for the people, hence their grief. Neither I nor the people prevailed in our hope for sustenance. We have now seen what force and intimidation can do”, he tweeted.
Igbakpa said serving his people in the House of Representatives is one of the greatest honours of his life.
“I feel proud of what we have built together in three years. We have touched the vast expanse of Ethiope Federal Constituency and given our people a loud voice. We have energised our resolve in this instance and vow to continue in the same spirit for progress and unity.
“I will always remain devoted to the development of the Ethiope Federal Constituency and continue to advance my belief in democratic good governance.
“I wish the winners of today’s re-run all the best and I pray that the losers (the people) can endure the outcome and the aftermath,” he said.
Nigerian Idol: Okowa Congratulates Winner, Promises More For Youths
Delta State Governor,Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated the winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7, Progress Chukwuyem, describing him as a true son and proud ambassador of the State.
Chukwuyem emerged winner of the Reality TV show after defeating fellow finalist, Zadok on Sunday.
Okowa said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, that the 21-year old songwriter, performer and music minister, was impeccable throughout the competition.
He lauded the organisers of the show and the panel of judges for what he called perfect organisation, leading to the emergence of Chukwuyem.
The winner of the competition, Chukwuyem, hails from Ekwueze-Abavo, Ika South Local Government Area of the State.
Okowa noted that the people of Delta were known for great exploits in reality shows, having won on several occasions in different platforms, adding that the State was gifted with abundant talents.
He said his administration had continued to support youths with talents to realise their potentials, stressing that news like Chukwuyem’s would continue to inspire him to do more for them.
“As a State, we are very delighted that our son, Progress Chukwuyem, won the #NigerianIdol Season 7 competition.
“He has portrayed the Delta character of true patriotism and worthy ambassador of the State, especially with the re-orientation of our youths, through our various schemes and programmes, which have been acknowledged as highly meaningful and successful.
“As a government, we will continue to support talents in sports, creative entertainment and even in business and we are glad that Chukwuyem has added to our pride.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Delta, I thank Deltans and indeed, all Nigerians that supported our son Chukwuyem, to clinch the prize money, as winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7.
“Indeed, beyond the prize, Chukwuyem reached greatness with his God-given talent and distinguished himself as a role model and we are very happy to have him bring honour to our state,” Okowa said.
The Tide’s source reports that the show started with 12 top contestants who emerged from the preliminary stage.
It was premiered on February 6, with the weekly shows covering the auditions that led to the theatre week, before the commencement of the live shows in March.
UNICAL Hosts African Universities On Online Teaching, Quality Assurance
University of Calabar (UNICAL) in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU) is jointly hosting a three-day workshop in Calabar on Quality Assurance and Online Teaching.
The workshop, which drew participants from some African countries, including Ghana, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe, has in attendance lecturers from over 20 Federal and State universities in Nigeria.
Speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, said the institution was pleased to host the workshop for the very first time in the 47 years of its existence.
Noting that the theme of the workshop, “Quality Assurance in Higher and Tertiary Education: Online Teaching and Learning in the Post Covid-19 Era in the University of Calabar” was apt, she said the workshop was coming at a time when UNICAL was making efforts to adopt the dual mode of teaching and working assiduously with a view to stabilise her quality assurance directorate.
“This training workshop offers the opportunity for strengthening the capacity of stakeholders in higher education institutions in Africa for global relevance.
“The theme is carefully selected in line with contemporary times of post Covid-19 era and the clamoring of higher education institutions in Africa to meet global standards in terms of academic excellence.
“Online teaching is not only necessary but urgently needed to accommodate millions of Africans desirous of further studies, especially in the post Covid-19 era.
“It is on this note that I commend the AAU for keeping tab with her objective of providing a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research in Africa,” she said.
She told the participants that UNICAL has a rich alumni profile, showcasing state governors, ministers, captains of industries, world ranking academics, legal gurus, top medical experts and educationist, among others.
According to her, UNICAL with over 40,000 students population is ranked 15th best university in Nigeria and the 64th best in Africa.
On her part, the Project Officer/Workshop Coordinator, Association of African Universities, Dr Violet Makuku, said the association came to Calabar due to the commitment of Prof. Obi towards online teaching and quality assurance.
Makuku said, the AAU, which serves as the apex body for higher education in Africa, seeks to impact practical knowledge and skills on the participants toward enhancing online teaching and learning.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, we came out to say no more face-to-face teaching in classrooms; hence we needed to adopt new methods of teaching.
“Everything has been digitalised, so we need to digitalise online teaching also,” she said.
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