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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Guber: Ex-Assembly Members Endorse Diri’s 2nd Term

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Ex-members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly have endorsed Governor Douye Diri’s second term bid in office.
The Tide learnt that the ex-lawmakers, under the aegis of the “Bayelsa Former Legislators Forum”, had midweek passed a vote of confidence on Senator Diri during their courtesy visit to Government House, Yenagoa.
A statement from the Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said a former Speaker of the State’s House of Assembly, Dr. Boyelayefa Debekeme, moved a motion for the endorsement of the Governor and was seconded by another former Speaker and acting Governor of the state, Chief Werinipre Seibarugu.
The forum comprises both Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) members.
In his remarks, Chairman of the forum, Robert Enogha, commended Senator Diri’s exemplary leadership style, which he said, has engendered peace, stability and development of the state since his assumption of office in February 2020.
Enogha, who was Chairman, House Committee on Sports, said the forum appreciates the impactful developmental efforts of the Governor’s Prosperity Administration across the state.
“Nobody can contradict the fact that you are indeed a Miracle Governor. You are magnanimous in your disposition. You carry everyone along in your government and that is why we are proud of you.
“We are not a pressure group that fights government, but we stand shoulder to shoulder in support of a government like yours.
“We must place on record that you have a large heart and that is why you brought a good number of our members on board your government.
“You have pulled out over 15 of our active members such as the Secretary to the State Government, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, Dr. Gentle Emelah, Commissioner for Education, and Dr. Peter Akpe, the Acting Chief of Staff, Government House and many others”, he said.
The forum also commended the Diri administration for collaborating with security agencies to sustain the prevailing peace and security in the state.
The former lawmakers requested the Governor’s intervention in issuance of Certificate of Occupancy on eight plots of land earlier allocated to the forum to facilitate the ownership and construction of a legislative research centre and guest house.
Responding, Governor Diri expressed appreciation to the forum for the endorsement, noting that it would spur him to do more for the state.
“We need all hands to be on deck to tackle our developmental challenges. We need to take our destiny in our hands to conquer our environment”, Diri said.
He assured the forum that he would look into their appeal and see how government would engage more of their members to tap into their wealth of experience.
He directed the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development to facilitate the issuing of the Certificate of Occupancy and waive other forms of payment for the land.
Diri also directed the Director of Protocol to update and upgrade the protocol list of all former legislators at both state and national levels, former ministers from the state, and former commissioners.
Members of the forum present were Chief Prosper Nwaguzo, Dr. Ebi Komonibo, Vivien Ere, Charles Emmanuel and B.Z.l Oniye.
Others were, Boulus Indiamaowei, Target Segibo, Kenigbolo Ogilivie, Archbishop Alex Eseimokumo, Amakiri Etebu, Chief Augustus Osomu, Waripamo Dudafa and Aaron Alokpa.
Also in attendance were Jonathan Obuebite, Angus Dida, Ebamua Empere, Kuroakegha Dorgu, Obiene Iniobio, Parkinson Mac-Manuel, Watson Belemote, David Obuma, Dr. Odiyovwi Osusu, Dein Binadoumene and Imomotimi Fanama.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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