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Don’t Suspend, Cancel RUGA Plans Entirely, Dickson Tells Buhari

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Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson
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From Mike Tayese, Yenagao

Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has urged the Federal Government to out-rightly cancel the controversial RUGA settlement policy.

The governor, who said that the RUGA settlement plan was inimical to national unity and cohesion, described it as provocative, divisive and unhelpful, adding that suspending it means it would return in the future.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr.

Fidelis Soriwei, in Yenagoa quoted the Governor as having made the comment while speaking on the first day of the interdenominational prayer and fasting service for the 2019 Gubernatorial election in the state.

He said that Bayelsa under his leadership would not give out any inch of its territory for the establishment of any such RUGA settlement as proposed by the Federal Government.

He stressed that any move to grab land in the state for the purpose of building RUGA settlement would be challenged.

He suggested that those involved in cattle business should be encouraged to go into ranching rather than the RUGA settlement arrangement.

“I said it some days ago and I’m saying it again that Bayelsa will not be part of RUGA. That is a most provocative, divisive and unhelpful policy. We call for the immediate cancellation of that policy.

“Under me as leader of this state, Bayelsa will not have even an inch of land available for any RUGA settlement. It will not be allowed and will be challenged.

“People should be encouraged to go into ranching as a business and not be moving around causing problems and mayhem. That’s what we will support, not RUGA settlements. Do we have Ijaw fishermen settlements in other states?”

The Governor said that the next governor òf the state should be a person of courage, who should be able to speak out on critical issues affecting the state

He stressed that anybody aspiring to occupy the office of Governor òf Bayelsa State should be able to speak out, say the bitter truth on critical issues irrespective of those involved.

The Governor explained that the state decided to organise the prayer and fasting programme to seek the face of God in the process of selecting the next leader because of the enormous influence of the office and the need for the right person to succeed him.

He restated his calls on Bayelsans to prevent the emergence of any governor who could use political appointments to lure the people to cultism and other evil practices.

He said that he had led the state in the direction of God as shown clearly by the fact that he did not lure any of the about 1500 political appointees into occult practices as was the case with some people.

“This transition is not about me. So many people in my shoes will be relaxing but we are still working from morning till night. This transition is about our state, about our people, about Christians possessing their possession. We have made a lot of progress. We want good committed, patriotic, decisive and compassionate leaders.

“My prayer is that the person God will raise for us will do better than I, that person will not fail. The way I have worked for our people, defended their interest, spoken on behalf of the people.” He added

The Governor lamented the attitude of the political class some of who would even react with bitterness when universities, an airport, good roads, health facilities and key developmental projects are built in the state.

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Rivers Assembly Screens, Confirms Eight Commissioner Designates

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The Victor Oko-Jumbo-led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Tuesday screened and confirmed eight nominees for possible appointment as commissioners in the state.

Reports says that the screening took place at the temporary legislative chambers located within the state Government House.

The Oko-Jumbo-led three-member legislature is loyal to the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The commissioner designates are to fill some of the vacancies created by the recent resignation of nine commissioners loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike.

During the sitting, Oko-Jumbo read the correspondence from the governor, requesting the screening and confirmation of the nominees.

He expressed the assembly’s commitment towards supporting the governor to provide democracy dividends to Rivers people.

The factional speaker said that the screening was part of the assembly’s responsibility in the governance of the state

Responding, the House Leader, Mr Sokari Good-boy and Deputy Speaker, Adolphus Timothy, unanimously adopted the request.

They said that most of the nominees had previously served the state at various capacities without blemish.

The commissioner designates include, Mr Charles Bakee, Mr Collins Onunwo, Dr Peter Medee and Mr Elloka Amadi,

Others are, Mr Basoene Benibo, Mr Sydney Gbara, Dr Ovy Chukwuma and Mr Solomon Eke.(NAN)

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Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Defrauding Thai Citizen of $216,000, N30m

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Police in Lagos State have arrested a suspect, Chimereze Chinedu, for allegedly defrauding a citizen of Thailand of $216,000 (₦317,725,271) and N30 million.

Police spokesman in the state, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a post he shared on his X (formerly Twitter) handle @benHundeyin on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect was arrested by detectives of the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID).

“Chinedu defrauded his victim under the pretense of selling 37 tricycles to her.

“He further expanded his fraudulent activity by forging letters of SCID, Lagos, showing that the tricycles were seized by the police and further extorted N30 million from the victim to purportedly secure the release of the tricycles,” he said.

The image maker said that the suspect was arrested on May 10 in Enugu State following weeks of diligent investigation and technical support from the International Criminal Police Organization, (INTERPOL)

The spokesman said that the suspect was currently in detention, as investigations continued to uncover details towards identifying and apprehending his accomplices.

According to Hundeyin, the Lagos State Command remains steadfast in its commitment to combating internet fraud and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice. (NAN)

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Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers not Proven Effective, Says UNODC

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the move by the Nigerian Senate to impose death penalty for drug trafficking offenders would not yield the desired result.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, said this at a two-day Media Personnel Training organised in collaboration with NDLEA and other partners on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports says that the training is centered on Anti -Corruption, Police Accountability, Wildlife Crime and Sensitisation on Drugs Prevention, Treatment and Care, (DPTC).

“Our stance as UN is clear on the death penalty we are principally and categorically against it. And from a very practical viewpoint, I have to say, it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Stolpe maintained that the UN had always advocated for clear distinction between crimes of drug trafficking as opposed to the issue of drug use.

He said that it was always considered primarily to be a health issue saying that it should be dealt with as such.

According to him, addiction is a health condition, it is not a choice.”

On the need for an updated drug data for Nigerians, Stolpe observed that the current national drug survey for Nigeria was last done six years ago, (2018), and therefore does not reflect the current situation for Nigeria.

He said “the drug use survey of 2018 remains as far as I can tell the most cited study in the media.

“This data is outdated and I think a very critical question that media could ask at that point is really well, how can we still refer to 2018 data to describe today’s levels of drug use?

Stolpe enjoined the media to keep the good work while ensuring that information were disseminated efficiently and effectively. NAN)

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