The Bayelsa State Government has constituted a 7-member Committee to look into issues causing hostility in Odioma Community in Brass Local Government Area of the state with a view to bringing lasting peace to the embattled coastal community.
The Committee is chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, Alaowei Gideon Ekeuwei, while the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Biriyai Dambo (SAN), is to serve as Secretary.
The Tide reports that members of the Committee include the state’s Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Thompson Amule; Commissioner for Special Duties (East), Hon. Preye Broderick; and the Technical Adviser to the Governor on Conflict Resolution, Chief Boma Spero-Jack.
Other members are the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Mr Akpoebi Agberebi, and the Technical Adviser on Special Duties, Mr Richard Perekeme.
Constituting the Committee during a meeting with the leadership and some stakeholders of Odioma in Government House, Yenagoa, during the week, the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, charged them to be diligent in carrying out their assignment.
He also mandated the Committee to separately meet with the two factions led by the Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr Andrew Esau, as well as the Chairman, Odioma Council of Chiefs, Chief Munafa Marlin.
To leverage the Committee’s assignment, the Deputy Governor, specifically directed the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to work for the withdrawal of all cases directly linked to the current intra-community conflict in Odioma from the judiciary.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo also urged the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Romokere Ibani, who was represented at the meeting by his Deputy in charge of Administration, DCP Ofem Arikpo, to suspend the interrogation and prosecution of all those arrested recently until further notice.
Addressing the Odioma delegation, he called on the people to sink their differences and cooperate with Government in the interest of peace and development of their community.
The State Number Two Man, who advised the Odioma people to resist forthwith the temptation of arresting and counter-arresting themselves, however, warned that government would not hesitate to deal decisively with any individual or group that goes against the current peace move.
“Odioma Community is very dear to us as a government. You must forgive one another and cooperate with your Government to attract development to your community.
“If you continue to fight, who are we going to talk to and work with to execute the projects you came here to request for the other day? We are not going to recognize any faction and that is how development will elude you.
“We don’t want that. And that is why we are encouraging you people to complement each other instead of engaging in unhealthy competitions that only cause conflict.
“I’ve already told the Commissioner of Police that nobody should be charged to court based on the current arrests until we finish what we are doing. So, on your part too, there should be no more arrest.
‘Anybody who arrests again, the government will be left with no alternative than to declare you as a persona non grata and an enemy of the state”, he said.
In their separate remarks, the two factional leaders, Mr Andrew Esau and Chief Munafa Marlin, appreciated the State Government for the peace initiative and promised to cooperate with the Committee to resolve all the thorny issues affecting the peace and stability of Odioma Community.
Others who made contributions at the meeting included the Coordinator, Bayelsa State Community Safety Corps, Brigadier Gen. Eric Angaye (Retired), a former Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Chief Ambrose Akerite, High Chief Obed Waribugo and Mr Philemon Kelly Dickson.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
Cleric Urges Youths To Take Care Of Their Parents
A Superintendent, Christ Army Church, City of David Cathedral, Ikot Ebidang, Onna, Akwa Ibom State, Mr David Udonsek, has tasked Nigerian youths to take care of their aged parents.
Udonsek offered the counsel in an interview with newsmen during the 3rd National Conference of the Church in Onna.
The Tide’s source reports that a sermon with the theme: “Parents Are Gates And Doors of Life”, was delivered at the conference.
Udonsek cautioned Nigerian youths against abandoning their parents at old age as such attitude usually reflect negatively on the larger society and on such children.
“A man’s door is shut immediately he or she abandons his parents.
“Children must catter for their parents because it is their responsibility to do that. In doing so, they are just reciprocating what the parents did for them from infancy into adulthood.
“Parents are gates through which everyone passes through, into this world; during labour, if a woman decides to close her legs, the child will not come out.
“Until a mother’s body is open, babies cannot find their way out into the world, either through womanhood or Caesarian Section.
“To castigate your parents as witches and wizards could cause a blockage to one’s destiny. It is a secret we have neglected. Our parents need our care just as they cattered for us during our childhood”, he said.
He advised youths to live for their parents in order to avoid walking in the dark, expressing regret that the neglect of parents was among the worst problems confronting Christian families.
He regretted that pride, self-centeredness, egoism and other bad tendencies were destroying the society, and particularly wondered why people would blame their parents for their failures in life.
“Seeing one’s parents as problems is the beginning of more problems for one”. he said.
C’River Dedicates Gov’s Tribunal Victory To People
The Government of Cross River State has dedicated the victory of the State Governor, Bassey Otu, at the governorship election petition tribunal on Tuesday to the people of the State.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Erasmus Ekpang, stated this while reacting to the judgment, which affirmed the election of Otu, who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ekpang noted that while APC remained the vehicle that brought the government to office, the party was working with the mandate that was given to it by the people.
He said the judgment did not come to him as a surprise, stressing that there was never a case before the tribunal in the first instance.
Ekpang said, “I wasn’t surprised with the eventual outcome of the petition as the issues raised were all pre-election matters.
“We are indeed glad that it has come to an end and we want to ultimately dedicate this victory to the people who gave us the mandate in the first instance.
“Having done with the judgment, I now want to call on our friends from the other side to join hands with the governor to move the state to the next level.
“The state belongs to us all and not the party that we represent. They should feel free to come forward if they have good ideas to develop Cross River”.
The tribunal, led by Justice Oken Inneh, affirmed Otu’s victory by dismissing all the reliefs sought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Prof. Sandy Onor.
Onor and the PDP had challenged Otu’s victory in the March 18 governorship election on the ground that Otu and his deputy, Mr John Odey, were not qualified to contest the poll.
Edo 2024: Oba Blesses Guber Aspirants
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has said his palace remains apolitical and would always pray for political office seekers that seek his blessing and support.
The monarch spoke on Wednesday, when he received a former State Governor and APC Governorship Aspirant, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, and a frontline Labour Party Governorship Aspirant, Mr Kenneth Imansuangbon.
The TIde’s source reports that both aspirants were at the palace at different times to ask for the Oba’s royal blessings and support.
The monarch prayed for them and wished them well in their aspirations.
The arrival of the aspirants at the palace courtyard appeared carnival-like with each accompanied by different support groups and cultural dancers.
Speaking on Osunbor’s ambition, the highly revered monarch said the capability of the former governor, who was sacked by the election petition tribunal, was not in doubt.
He promised him that a prayer team would be put in place so that he would be free from any harm and also achieve his heart desire.
Osunbor was Edo State Governor between May 2007 and November 2008 before he was removed and replaced with Sen. Adams Oshiomhole.
Earlier in a speech, he said he was Governor for a short period “so it is my desire to come back and complete my mission and also contribute in my own way to assist Your Royal Majesty in developing our state to an enviable level.
“I know it is in the interest of Your Royal Majesty that whoever is coming to govern the state should be somebody who has the interest of the state at heart and prepared to do what is required to elevate Edo to an enviable height”
He recalled that within the short period of his stay in office, he exhibited excellence in governance.
He also recalled that he initiated a successful students’ bursary scheme and ensured that pensioners were paid their pension arrears without any of them owed by his government.
Speaking on his academic brilliance, he disclosed that he graduated with First Class in Law to become the first Nigerian to achieve the feat at the University of Nigeria.
The Omo N’Oba also prayed for Imansuangbon to have a hitch-free campaign, ahead of the poll in 2024.
Imansuangbon, popularly called Riceman, told the oba that he came to seek his blessing and support as he embarked on his campaign for the poll.
He said, “As my father, there is no way I can embark on my journey to the Government House without having the blessings of my father.
“My desire to govern Edo is to bring purpose and pattern to good governance”.
He promised the royal father that his administration would be just and firm.
He gave assurance that he would welcome the wise counsel of the traditional institution on the best ways to move the state forward, when elected.
He also promised to provide adequate security for lives and property in the state through the creation of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.
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