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2023: Diri’s Aide Faults Decampees, Dispels Rumours On Dickson

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The Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on Inter-party Relations, Barr. Jackson Ebi Suokiri, has described the recent defection of some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as ill-conceived.
Suokiri stated this in Kaiama, headquarters of the Kolokuma/Opokuma Council area of the state in a chat with journalists against the background of a gale of defections from the PDP to other parties in the past weeks in the state.
The Bayelsa Governor’s aide, who alleged that the trio of Hons. Victor Isaiah, Executive Chairman, Brass Council Area, Daniel Mark-Iworiso, former Commissioner for Information and Orientation, and Alex Dumbo, former Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Governor’s office, have benefited maximally from the PDP, restated that though it is normal and legal to defect from one party to the other, the defection of the trio from the PDP to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was not done with good conscience.
He urged Bayelsans and the public to discountenance any rumour that the defection of the trio who were alleged allies of the immediate past Governor of the State, Seriake Dickson, was a pointer that the incumbent Governor, Senator Douye Diri, and the former now have a soured relationship.
He reiterated that Governor Diri and Senator Dickson have a blossoming relationship, noting that the allegations that those who were the latter’s loyalists were being mistreated in the Governor Diri-led prosperity administration were spurious claims.
Suokiri, who also stated that the recent PDP primaries were free, fair and credible, lauded the governor for ensuring a level playing ground, saying those defecting from the party are aspirants who were defeated in the primaries.
He emphasized that rather than allege that the primaries were not transparent and that they were being victimized in the PDP, the defectors, he insisted, should have ideally said having lost the primaries in the PDP, they would now like to test their popularity in the SDP.
“Governor Diri ensured that there were credible primaries. In every contest, there would be winners and losers. I, therefore, see no reason why after losing the primaries, a party member who has benefited immensely from the PDP should think of defecting. Instead, if I were them, I would’ve been very loyal and faithful now so that I can be carried along.
“Iworiso was Chief Press Secretary to the former Governor, Seriake Dickson. From the position of a CPS, he was later appointed as Information and Orientation Commissioner. But honestly, I don’t see an Iworiso winning primaries. I don’t think he has the structure in Ogbia to do that even.
“For Victor Isaiah, the Brass LG Chairman, I also think he never thought it wise to have opted to defect at this time. Like the other defectors, he has benefited more from the PDP.
“He was appointed as Care-taker Committee Chairman of that LGA and was later elected as Executive Chairman.
“If I were him, I would’ve still toed the path of loyalty, especially now that his tenure as Chairman would be expiring soon.
“Imagine, just a few days after their defections, they were announced as flag-bearers of the SDP in their various elective Constituencies.
“Bayelsans know that Governor Diri has done marvelously well in both human capital and infrastructural developments and even timely payment of civil servants, etc.
“So, I’ld like to assure Bayelsans that the Governor has also graciously reinvigorated unity and love within the PDP, and so the party has all the structures needed to win any election here in the state”, Suokiri said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

 

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Diri Slams Water Resources Bill

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has described as draconian the National Water Resources Bill before the National Assembly, saying it would have adverse effects on the predominantly maritime state if it is passed into law.
Diri condemned the Bill when the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dame Didi Walson-Jack, and her team paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted the Governor as saying that it would be unfair and unjust to introduce the Water Resources Bill when oil producing states were still agitating for a fair deal from their oil and gas resources.
“The Water Resources Bill is not acceptable. The provisions of the bill, if it becomes law, would have more negative impact on us as we are a mainly maritime environment.
“Having taken away our oil and gas resources, the Federal Government is trying to introduce a water resources law at a time that we are still fighting for a fair deal. This Bill is tantamount to stifling us. The Federal Government is on our neck and we cannot breathe anymore”, he said.
The Governor called on sponsors of the Bill to withdraw it, saying the country operates a fedteral System of government rather than a unitary government.
“We are running a Federal government where you do not centralise resources or political power. It is where you run a unitary system of government that those kind of draconian bills can come. But in an ideal federal system, you allow the states to expropriate their resources and pay taxes to the Federal Government.
“They emasculate the states’ resources and then give peanuts to them. They still turn around to say the states are not performing. How can they perform when you take away all their resources?”, Governor Diri queried.
On ending open defecation, the Governor assured that under the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project, his administration would collaborate with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to stop the menace, as it is one of the indices of development.
He said some of the intiatives the State Government had put in place to end the era of open defecation include setting up of the Bayelsa State Council for Water Resources and approval of N250 million for the WASH project this year.
The state’s helmsman also directed the Commissioner for Water Resources to ensure that the 3.6 million-litre Federal Government water scheme at Otuoke is resuscitated, adding that the Yenagoa, Ovom and Okaka water stations had been rehabilitated.
Earlier, the Minister of Water Resources, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dame Didi Walson-Jack, said in 2019, a national campaign was launched to end open defecation in the country.
The Minister said this was critical to achieving sustainable development goal number six on water and sanitation.
He noted that an estimated 48 million persons practised open defecation in the country, which necessitated building a new culture of safe sanitation across Nigeria.
He said as at today, 83 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country were open defecation free and the Ministry was currently working in Brass and Kolokuma/Opokuma LGAs in the State in collaboration with UNICEF towards ending open defecation in the areas.
While promising to provide technical support to resuscitate the water scheme at Otuoke, the Minister solicited the partnership of the State Government towards ensuring that the six other LGAs attained the status of open defecation free by 2025, which is the national set target.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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2,219 Vulnerable Persons In Bayelsa Get FG’s N20,000 Grant Each

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The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has commenced disbursement of cash grants of N20,000 each to 2,219 poor and vulnerable persons in Bayelsa State.
The Minister, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, while disbursing the grants in Yenagoa, said that the beneficiaries were drawn from the eight Local Government Areas of the State.
Faroug said the exercise was part of the Federal Government’s efforts to consolidate on the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
She said the programme was designed by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and vulnerable citizens of the society.
She said the grant was introduced in 2020 with a national target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
The Minister said that 70 per cent of the grant would be disbursed to women, while the youths and persons with disability would get the remaining 30 percent.
She urged the beneficiaries to use the grant in productive activities that would generate more income and improve their living standard.
Faroug expressed appreciation to the Bayelsa Government for partnering with the ministry to ensure that NSIP was effectively implemented in the state.
A beneficiary of the programme, Mrs Pere Ebinabe, thanked the federal government for the gesture, promising to use the fund in reviving her ailing businesses.
The Tide’s source reports that the digitised payment system for conditional cash transfers was also inaugurated and second stream of independent monitors to assess the programme implementation trained.

 

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Ambrose Alli Varsity Disengages Ad-hoc, Casual Workers

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Management of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State has disengaged all ad-hoc and casual members of staff from the service of the university.
The university announced this via a special release by the Acting Registrar of the university, Mr Ambrose Odiase.
The university in the release, a copy of which was made available to The Tide’s source in Benin, said it was abolishing the category of staff with immediate effect, to better reposition the institution.
“The management of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma in repositioning the university and in line with International Labour Law Conventions and best practices, hereby abolishes the position of Ad-Hoc and Casual Staff in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, with immediate effect.
“In light of this, the university management hereby disengages from her employment, all ad-hoc and casual staff in Ambrose Alli university, Ekpoma.
“By this circular, all those affected, are to proceed to the Bursary Department for the processing and payment of all outstanding allowances and stipends due to them by 2:00pm on Wednesday, August 10.
“The university management thanks all the erstwhile ad-hoc and casual staff of the university for their services and wishes them well in all their future endeavours,” it said.

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