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Bayelsa: Dickson Gives Identity of Possible Successor

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Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson
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Bayelsa State Governor, the Honourable Seriake Dickson, has said his successor should be  principled, bold and courageous enough to protect the collective interests of the Ijaw nation at all times.

A statement by the Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Governor Dickson as having made the comment during a live media chat in Yenagoa, on Monday night.

He noted that in view of the challenges facing the state, Bayelsa could not afford to have what he described as an establishment errand boy as governor.

 He also stressed that the next governor should have a clear agenda and God-fearing to serve the people with a sense of humility and compassion.

His words: “The next governor òf the Ijaw nation must be courageous, he must be ready to defend the Ijaw nation at all times. He must not be the errand boy of any ethnic group. I will be sad to see the governor òf Bayelsa playing just politics, without being able to take a decisive position on issues.

Governor Dickson who  said he has raised the standard of governance and expectations, promised to publish an audited account of his eight years stewardship in line with his administration’s policy of accountability and transparency.

“The shoes I am leaving behind are very big. Posterity will judge. 
Only very few of the people who come to talk to me have the interest of the state at heart. There is no free money to give anybody in Bayelsa. Don’t kill for anybody, none has the power to make you a billionaire.

“Our people are oppressed. We have a lot of stories to tell Nigerians. When it comes to speaking for the Ijaw nation, I have not been found wanting. I want that tradition to continue. I want my people to be safe.

“More, than any other time, Bayelsa needs a governor with the requisite courage to lead the Ijaw nation. What is at stake is your destiny and survival. Our people are Balkanized into small units from Ondo State to many many other states.

“In the Niger delta, the Ijaw voice must be heard. I hope those buying the forms are aware of the enormity of the responsibilities of being the governor of Bayelsa state.”

Governor Dickson also attributed the peaceful atmosphere in state to the new political culture of tolerance and maturity, his administration had promoted over the last seven and half years.

Dickson who commended the political class for the current peace n the state in spite of the multiplicity òf aspirants, expressed the hope that all political parties and candidates would abide by the rules for the greater good of the state.

The Governor stressed that the Peoples Democratic Party had so many governorship aspirants in the state because it remained the only solid and robust platform that could win election in the state.

He described the development as a testament to his democratic style of governance where people are allowed to pursue their political ambitions without any form of interferance.

“In spite of the multiplicity òf aspirants, we have a new political culture, there is no incidence of violence. I am happy that the state is growing politically.

“I want to see more engagement, I want to see people talk about their dreams and visions, I want to see more of the issues being addressed. The fact that you have 21 or so aspirants gives the clarity that PDP is the only party that can guarantee success; the platform that can connect with our people.”

 “It tells a lot about the capacity of the party and the leadership that I have provided to make it attractive.”

 Speaking also on the August 10, local council polls, Governor Dickson decried the desperation of some politicians who according to him, do not mean well for the state.

However he stressed that the election will hold as planned by the State Independent Electoral Commission.

The governor also pointed out that the boycott of the council election by the main opposition party, APC would not in any way affect the credibility of the poll.

“What happened was unfortunate. It showed the desperation of some politicians in the state. I know people who are planning to forge identities of delegates.”

“You can imagine how they can come within the party to frustrate local government election.”

POLITICS

Tinubu Tasks APC Stakeholders in North-Central on Unity

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President Bola Tinubu has urged the stakeholders and members of  All Progressives Congress (APC) in the North-Central Zone to remain united in order to take the party to the next level of development.

Tinubu made the call on Saturday at  the Zonal stakeholders meeting of the party in Lafia.

Tinubu, who was the Chairman of the meeting, was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation ( SGF), Sen.

George Akume.

The president said:” I want to appeal to all of you to maintain unity. We need to maintain unity of purpose, unity of brothers and sisters for the progress of our party and the country at large “

He also commended Governors of the zone for initiating projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.

Tinubu solicited continued support and prayers from the stakeholders, APC members and other Nigerians to enable him succeed.

The president assured of his administration’s commitment to continue to provide infrastructure and other good policies that would improve the lives of Nigerians.

On his part, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the APC National Chairman, said the party has introduced a lot of reforms,  including e- registration for party members.

” We have introduced e-registration for party members as e-registration will give us accurate numbers of our party members,” he said.

Ganduje appreciated Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa and the North Central APC leaders for inviting him to the meeting.

He also called on the stakeholders and other members of the party to embrace unity for the overall development of the party and Nigeria at large.

The APC national chairman urged  Nigerians to support Tinubu’s administration to succeed.

Also Speaking, Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara , who is the North-Central APC Coordinator, said the meeting was to discuss issues that would move the party forward.

” It is also to thank our party stakeholders for the success of our party and to interact with ourselves for the overall development of our party,” he said.

The governor urged stakeholders and other members of the party to build a formidable North-Central zone, urging,

” Let’s all make North-Central formidable.”

On their parts,  the Nasarawa governor, Gov.  Usman Ododo of Kogi and Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue, also called for  unity among APC members.

Sule said: ” Dear members of APC, let’s have the party in our hearts for the progress of the party and for the overall development of the country.

 Also, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Rep. Idris Wase, Hajiya Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim, Minister of Police Affairs ( State), Hajiya  Hajarat Danyaro, member representing Nasarawa Central at the State House of Assembly, among other stakeholders ,  urged for focus and unity.

They appealed to party members to remain focused and united for the progress of the party.

They appealed that all hands must be on the deck to take the party to the next level of development.(NAN)

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POLITICS

Niger Assembly Halts Ongoing Construction of IBB University Teaching Hospital Over Substandard Quality

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From  Dan Amasingha, Minna. 

Niger State House of Assembly joint committees on works, health and Nutrition have directed the immediate suspension of the ongoing construction of IBB University Teaching Hospital Minna due to lack of compliance with the contract specifications.

Chairman of the House Committees Arch.

Suleiman Abubakar Gomna and his counterpart, Pharm.
Umar Nasir gave the order during an oversight visit to the project site in Minna.

The Lawmakers described the project as below standard and a deliberate plan by the contractors to shortchange the state government. 

Abubakar Gomna expressed sadness over the substandard nature of the ongoing project noting that, Poor quality work has repercussions that extend to safety and communication in addition to wasted time, resources and materials.

The lawmaker explained that lack of adequate quality control procedures and improve construction project efficiency can have a ripple effect of high expectation.

“There is  urgent  need for material testing towards  ensuring  quality and standard.”      

Chairman house standing committee on health and Nutrition, Pharmacist Umar Nasir said durability, strength, and quality of materials play a pivotal role in the safety and longevity of structures in construction and can significantly impact the overall performance of a construction project.

The Head Project Management of Think Lab Group Limited, Mohammed Lawal Aliyu disclosed that the project consist of three phases which includes; renovation of old structures and building new one.

He said infrastructure such as road, electrification and water as well as supply of medical equipment is also embedded in the contract.

Daily Asset gathered that the contractor, Think Lab Group is  handing the project have already access an advance payment of N9 billion from the state government .

The House committee are insisting that, to  ensure that sharp practices was not recorded, the company must abide by the directives from the lawmakers in order to have an edifice that will stand the test of time

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POLITICS

Reps Query Abandonment of Skills Acquisition Centre Project in Akwa Ibom

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Ministry has queried the contractors for abandoning the skills acquisition center project at Iwuo Achang, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Chairman of the Committee, Rep.

Eugene Dibiagwu, issued the query at an investigative hearing on the abandoned Skills Acquisition Center.

He said that the lack of commitment by the contractors had made them part of the problem Nigeria is facing over abandoned projects.

He added that it was ridiculous that the project was yet to be completed after being paid 85 percent of the contract sum.

“As a contractor that has been paid up to 85 percent, you were supposed to have completed that project; you know the reason why you have not; we will not allow the project to die that way.

“We understand the situation we found ourselves in in the country economically regarding the cost of materials.

“We will engage the ministry of Niger Delta so that they will know whether to consider further valuation for your request for additional money.”

He expressed shock that part of the fence built by the contractors had broken, saying the committee would unravel whether the fence the contractor built that fell was their fault or of a natural cause.

He, however, charged the contractor to do everything possible to complete the project, adding that the committee would not join issues with the contractor until the project was completed.

The committee said that if the skill acquisition center must work with all the necessary facilities to make it functional, it would require an additional N2 billion from the N4.2 billion earlier quoted for the project.

“We are looking at an additional 2 billion naira, which will bring the total project to 6.2 billion naira, having committed 4 2 billion naira initially.

“And even if we commit 6.2 billion naira, the center will not still work considering what is left to be done. That center cannot train one person even with 6.2 billion naira.

The committee added that this is because the center would accommodate training workshops, train personnel to man the center, and also equip the training center to work.

It would be recalled that the House, on Nov. 23, 2023, deliberated on a motion titled “Need to Complete the Construction of the Skill Acquisition Center at Iwuo Achang, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State”.

The House had urged the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to ensure completion of the project within the 2024 fiscal year and mandated the Committee on Niger Delta Ministry to ensure compliance.

However, the Chairman stated that the contract for the center was awarded on March 15, 2010 by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to three companies.

He stated that the project had reached about 85 percent completion 12 years ago but was abandoned due to an unexpected increase in the price of goods.

This, he said, left the property vandalised and in deplorable condition.

The contractors who appeared before the committee include Stegis International Agency Nigeria Ltd., a civil construction building, and Enarosol Nigeria Ltd., a landscaping and perimeter fencing company.

Others include Y. S. Associates, Electrical and Mechanical Works.

The contractor who tried albeit unsuccessful to defend their actions, were requested to appear with copies of the contract agreement, interim performance certificates, and any other relevant documents relating to the project.

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