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VP, Ex-Presidents, Govs. Others Bid Bayelsa Gov’s Father Farewell




From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa

Scores of prominent Nigerian leaders, on Saturday, bid farewell to Pa Abraham Joseph Michael (AJM) Diri, father of the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, at Sampou community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.

The attendees included a cross-section of leaders, namely Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and his wife, Dolapo, former Presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan alongside his wife, Dame Patience, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar and National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu as well as the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi.

State governors and governors-elect at the funeral service were Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, (Governors of Delta), Senator Ademola Adeleke (Osun), Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and wife, Betty, Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Darius Ishiaku (Taraba).

The governors-elect of Akwa Ibom, Plateau, Taraba and Niger states were also present.

Chief Obasanjo, in his goodwill message delivered by Vice President Osinbajo, described Pa Diri as an exemplary teacher, a Lay Reader, and community leader, who gave his children proper upbringing.

According to him, “we are here to celebrate the life and times of Pa Diri. The array of personalities here is an indication that Pa Diri brought up and nurtured the aspirations of so many children.”

The former Nigerian leader noted that the late Diri’s reward as a teacher came not just through his son, Senator Diri, but attracted so many notable Nigerians to Sampou to celebrate a humble teacher.

“He could not have imagined that an array of personalities would come here to honour him. According to the book of Proverbs 14:23, “in all labour, there is profit.”

Former President Jonathan, in his remarks, said he was with the bereaved Diri family in appreciating Obasanjo, Osinbajo and all those who came to celebrate and honour the family and the people of the state.

He recalled that Pa Diri passed on a day that the present administration in the state was marking its third anniversary and prayed God to strengthen Diri and his family.

Also, former Vice President Atiku said: “There is a special relationship between me and the people of Bayelsa State. l am with you as a family and that is why l am physically here.”

The PDP presidential candidate noted that he attended the funeral ceremonies of former governor of the state, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha in Amassoma, former Governor Seriake Dickson’s mother at Toru-Orua and that of Diri’s father.

Responding, Senator Diri said he and his family as well as the entire state were humbled by the large turnout of high profile dignitaries in his community to bid his father farewell.

“We are indeed overwhelmed. There can be no love more than that. I would not have thought even in the wildest of my imaginations that there would be a large number of high profile Nigerians here to celebrate my father.”

Diri, who described his father as a disciplinarian, noted that he impacted positively on all who crossed his path and they all shared his positive attributes.

Other dignitaries who graced the event were one-time Bayelsa military administrator, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), wife of former governor, Mrs Margaret Alamieyeseigha, Managing Director and Country Chair of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr Osagie Okunbor, Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Barry Ndiomu (retd), Senators Uche Ekwunife and Ben Murray-Bruce as well as the PDP governorship candidate in Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye.

The Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, his wife, Beatrice, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, other state and national lawmakers, the state Acting Chief Judge, Justice Matilda Ayemieye, president, Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Daniel Ayah, Justices of the state high court, commissioners and other top government functionaries, business mogul, High Chief Victor Egukawhore, captains of industry, traditional rulers as well as clerics among others. 


NEC Moves to End Economic Hardship, Enhance Food Security




The National Economic Council (NEC) has taken bold steps to ensure food security and put an end to the economic challenges confronting the nation.

Reports says that the council also pledged to make fertiliser available to farmers and to establish Agro-Rangers to tackle insecurity in farms.

The decision was taken on Thursday during the 139th meeting of the Council held virtually and chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

NEC noted that fertiliser was a major ingredient of agricultural productivity which the government is striving to attain.

The council, therefore, urged the state governors to embrace modern agricultural practices to increase productivity.

It also considered the establishment of Agro-Rangers in the short-term and the creation of state police in the long-term to address security threats on farmers.

This was after a presentation by the Minister of Police Affairs, Sen. Ibrahim Geidam.

Reports says that government is also planning to release 42,000 metric tonnes of food commodities from the National Strategic Reserve to address rising prices.

In his presentation on food security, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Kyari Abubakar, called for action against dollarisation of locally produced commodities like urea.

According to him, urea is impacting negatively on fertilizer prices and agricultural productivity.

Commenting on the presentation, Shettima, directed a meeting of the Federal Government with major fertilizer producers, including Indorama, Dangote and Notore.

He said with collective efforts in developing a clear and actionable roadmap through short-term, medium, and long-term strategies, Nigeria would overcome its economic challenges.

Shettima called for sound economic decisions that would reverberate with the expectations of Nigerians.

He regretted that Nigeria had been a victim of strong averseness to evolving and keeping up with the changing global economic order.

This, according to him, leads to a situation where making difficult decisions to maximise its potential has become inevitable.

” We must either redirect the economy towards a place of boom and competitiveness or brace for an impact we are unlikely to survive.

” So, beyond the heritage of our financial and monetary fiascos, we must compare notes to understand the interconnectedness of the dysfunctions in each sector of the economy.”

Shettima told council members that it was President Bola Tinubu’s desire that they all stand together to collectively proffer solutions to safeguard the nation’s economy from imminent implosion.

He observed that while the wealth of every nation is in the belly of its citizens, the government has a long distance to cover in its interventions to enhance food availability and affordability.

” The call to secure and liberate areas under threat from violence, most of which are arable lands owned by our farming communities, is not just a matter of security but a strategic move to revive the economic lifeblood of our nation.”

Shettima noted that the citizens are only keen about tangible results.

” While economic experts foresaw this transitional phase on our journey to a flourishing future, it is crucial to recognize that the ordinary citizen on the street is not concerned with any economic theory.

” Their daily concerns are anchored in the tangible. They are more interested in the price of maize than the predictions of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

”So, as we deliberate on intricate economic strategies today, let us remain attuned to the heartbeat of the nation.

” We must ensure that our decisions resonate with the aspirations of the common man and woman who entrust us with their hopes and dreams.”

The Vice President, who acknowledged that the country was in the midst of a pervasive emergency, urged state governors, ministers and other NEC members to align with the realities on ground. (NAN)

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Over 4,000 Officers to Partake in 2024 Police Games in Oyo – FPPRO




No fewer than 4,000 police officers across the country will converge in Ibadan for the 14th Biennial Police Games coming up from Feb. 24 to March 2 in Ibadan.

The Force Public Relations Officer (FPPRO), ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, stated this while addressing newsmen on preparation for the game tagged “Oluyole 2024” on Thursday in Ibadan.

He said that the theme of the game, “Competing for Peace, Unity, Stability and Development of Nigeria”, was strategically picked to identify good talents that would join hands with government in producing good brains that would develop nation’s sports.

Adejobi noted that 17 contingents from the 17 Zonal Commands in the force would be competing at the biennial event.

He added that the game would also featured sports contingents from sisters security agencies and departments.

“Nigeria Police Force(NPF) has a very good history when it comes to sports development in Nigeria.

“For many years NPF has been at the forefront of projecting and producing talents in all sports arena in Nigeria and globally.

“We have produced a very large number of athletes in football, volleyball, basketball and other games. We know that if an officer is not mentally and physically fit, such officer can not discharge duties as gallant officer or the security agent.

“We are doing this in preparation to attain our primacy in the internal security of this country, ” he said.

The Force Spokesperson assured Nigerians that the game would not reduce effective policing across the country as adequate arrangements had been made to ensure that maximum security of lives and properties across the country.

Also speaking, the Oyo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Wasilat Adegoke, said the game would positively contribute to the socio-economic development of the state.

The Commissioner noted that the state government had fully prepared to make the eight days event a success.

“The administration of Gov. Seyi Makinde enables potentials and believes that the police games will be one of the platforms to discover new talents for the state and country at large.

“Several stadia have been prepared to ensure that everything needed by officers is adequately provided. We are hoping that the tournament would produce talents for olympic games and other global competitions, “she said.

Reports says that the 13th Biennial Police Games, was held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State from Nov. 23 to Nov. 30, 2022.(NAN)

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Labour Ministry Awards 22 Workers for Dedication, Hardwork




The Ministry of Labour and Employment has honoured 22 officers with the 2023 Ministerial Service Award for excellence and productivity.

At the award ceremony which took place on Thursday in Abuja, Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State for Labour and Employment enjoined the recipients not to lose sight of the responsibility assiciated with the achievement.

Onyejeocha, represented by Mr Emmanuel Igbinosun, Director, Productivity Measurement and Labour Standards .

congratulated the awardees on the honour bestowed on them.

According to her, the award reinforced the belief that dedication, hard work, and passion for one’s craft could lead to exceptional outcomes.

The minister urged the awardees to use the opportunity of the recognition to inspire and uplift others, fostering a culture of excellence with the nation.

“The awards are not only a reflection of your efforts but also a celebration of the collaborative spirit of the public service that propels us toward excellence,”she said.

Earlier, Mr Ismaila Abubakar, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the ceremony was  to celebrate those that exhibited exceptional commitment and dedication to service, as part of the commemoration of African Public Service Day.

He urged the awardees to continue to strive for excellence, and be motivated by the award to contribute meaningfully to the mandate of the ministry and the public service shared goals.

Reports says that the awardees were drawn from the directorate and middle cadre of both the ministry and its agencies .

The agencies are the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), and National Productivity Centre (NPC)(NAN)

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