From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa
As the 2023 Bayelsa state governorship race gathers momentum in Bayelsa state, the Director, New Media to Governor Douye Diri, Dr. Kola Oredipe has asserted that the Governor has done much to earn a second term in office.
He made the declaration at a parley with members of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State Council held at the FCC Secretariat in Yenagoa.
Dr.Oredipe emphasized that within the last three years in office, the Governor had embarked on key projects and infrastructure such as roads, education, security and welfare of civil servants and pensioners.
He stated that with over 85 % in performance so far, Governor Diri is poised for victory and get a second term in the November 11th, 2023 gubernatorial elections in the State.
“I can tell you that if election is conducted today, Governor Douye Diri will win in all the eight local government areas of Bayelsa State regardless of where the other candidates come from”.
“The project Bayelsa is very key to him and he feels very strongly about it. He restored peace and order to the State on assumption of office. Infrastructure wise, roads, education, sports, empowerment and different skills acquisition programmes, he has done so much in all these areas.
“Wherever you go, everybody is singing Governor Douye Diri for second term. Having being a public servant, a teacher, as a private businessman and rich experience in politics: Commissioner, Deputy Chief of Staff, Principal Executive Secretary, House of Reps member and Senator and now Governor, it’s not surprising that he has been able to achieve a lot,” Dr. Oredipe said.
The Director, New Media pointed out that with accomplishments in critical projects such as the Nembe Unity Bridge, Elebele Bridge, Imiringi Bridge, and ongoing construction works on the Nembe-Brass Road, the Yenagoa-Oporoma road as well as accreditation for the Bayelsa State College of Education, Sagbama and the Niger Delta University, the Governor has fast tracked the development of the State.
Dr. Oredipe said with the prevailing peace across the State more investments were underway to access the Blue Economy through the Ocean via the three Senatorial Roads which will give access to the Sea.
Responding to questions from the Correspondents, the Director New Media said Governor Diri had directed the redesign, reconstruction and rehabilitation of some internal roads with drainages as works would soon commence on such roads such as Okaka, PDP and others.
On the issue of perennial flood disaster in the State, he said the Governor had created a Directorate of Flood and Erosion Control to prepare adequate response in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment to open up blocked drains, canals and water channels. He explained that the Administration had committed funds to address the erosion threat at Obogoro community in Yenagoa Local Government Area.
On Tourism, he stated that the Governor was considering constructing a new recreational center in Yenagoa to enable revelers and fun seekers have a place to relax, positing that there was thriving nightlife in the Bayelsa State capital.
On the report by the Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission which was released recently in London, Dr. Oredipe commended the immediate past Governor, Senator Seriake Dickson for initiating the idea of the Commission to stop the Environmental genocide in the State.
He said the report of the Commission highlighted that Bayelsa State is the most polluted area in the world due to the negligence of the multinational oil companies. He stated that the findings of the Commission were shocking as the State experience a spill every 12 hours for the 14 years it covered, accounting for 25 % of oil spills in Nigeria between 2006 and 2022 which is 3508 out of 13,251 spills, urging the oil companies to clean up the polluted sites.
The Director New Media was accompanied to the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on National Dailies, Mr. Osaro Okhomina and amongst others.
Imo Guber: LP Distances Self from Inspection of Election Materials
The Labour Party (LP) in Imo, on Tuesday, said it was not involved in the inspection of election materials conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo.
Reports says that INEC displayed the materials for inspection in its headquarters in Owerri on Tuesday.
The materials were displayed in obedience to a court order obtained by the LP for the inspection of Certified True Copies of documents and other materials used for the governorship election on November 11.
Applications for the inspection of the materials were submitted to
INEC by the LP, PDP, APGA and YPP.
Addressing newsmen, state LP Chairman, Mr Callistus Ihejiagwa, faulted the process of the inspection, pointing out that the parties had yet to agree on the modalities for the inspection.
Ihejiagwa expressed disappointment that although the LP had got a court order mandating INEC to make the materials available for inspection, the party could not proceed with the process as there were no agreed rules and modalities.
He distanced the party from “the flawed process”, and berated INEC for “falling below expectations“.
According to him, there was no agreed formular for the inspection.
“We are here at the behest of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri, which granted us an Order of Court to inspect the materials used for the November 11 governorship election.
“INEC failed to establish modalities for the inspection as agreed and we cannot afford to proceed with the process.
“At the moment, INEC has not told us which materials they have made available for inspection.
“As far as we are concerned, there’s no inspection going on here today,” he said.
The lawyer representing PDP, Mr Gozie Nwachukwu, described the environment and process as “disorganised, devoid of meaningful logic and not fit to serve its intended purpose“.
Nwachukwu called on INEC to reorganise itself with a view to carrying out the process in a more decent fashion so that all the stakeholders can go home satisfied.
The INEC Head of Voter Education and Publicity in the state, Mrs Emmanuella Ben-Opara, had earlier confirmed that the materials requested for inspection were all ready and waiting to be inspected.
Reports that the inspection venue was however crowded by supporters of the All Progressives Congress, who chanted solidarity songs intermittently. (NAN)
Senate to Probe Pension Fund Administrators over Unpaid Entitlements
The Senate has tasked its Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes to investigate the activities of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) over unpaid pension.
This followed the adoption of a motiond “ on the need to address the travails of pensioners, their next-of-kin and deceased relatives over unpaid pensions, gratuities and other entitlements”, by Sen.
Presenting the motion, Chukwu said there were undue delays in payment of pensions, gratuities and other entitlements, causing sufferings and trauma to retirees.
“Due to bureaucratic bottlenecks and endemic corruption in the payment process, the situation has subjected many pensioners to abject penury.
“With some even dying in queues of protracted and never- ending verification exercises that yield little or no result whatsoever.
“The prevailing issues include the non-payment of outstanding arrears to scores of pensioners, non- enrolment of thousands of pensioners on the pension payroll, non-payment of death benefits to deserving Next-of-Kin.
“This is made worse by improper keeping of records, unscrupulous officials who demand different documents and call for similar verification exercises time and time again,” he said.
He said that the administration of the pension funds had been enmeshed in unprecedented corruption over the years with some public officers, institutions of government and even banks all complicit.
The lawmaker said that except pensioners received fair and prompt treatment, the country was unwittingly encouraging the propensity of civil servants to be corrupt.
“This is as a career in civil service is no more attractive especially as senior citizens are treated shabbily.
“It goes further to speak of our value system as any society that cannot treat its elderly citizens with care, respect and dignity advertises its disregard for values,” he said.
Chukwu said that considering the fact that senior citizens were no longer relevant in the labour market, the government must do something drastically to ameliorate the trauma and sufferings of pensioners.
“After many years of hard labour, a worker is indeed entitled to some peace and security at old age,” he said.(NAN)
Aliyu hails Appeal Court Judgment Affirming his Election as Sokoto State Governor
Gov. Ahmed Aliyu of Sokoto State has hailed the Court of Appeal judgment affirming his election.
In a statement issued by Aliyu’s Press Secretary, Malam Abubakar Bawa, the governor said the judgment was a testament to Nigeria’s impartial and just judiciary.
Aliyu attributed the victory to the will of Almighty Allah.
“We view this triumph as a divine blessing, and we commend the judiciary for upholding truth and justice,” Aliyu said.
He urged the opposition to collaborate with him to ensure development of the state.
The governor assured the public of his administration’s dedication to delivering democratic dividends.
“We remain resolute in providing an environment conducive to development in our state.
“Our commitment includes ongoing efforts to eliminate bandits and criminals through sustained military operations,” Aliyu emphasised, seeking support from all stakeholders.
Aliyu urged continued support from the public, emphasising the need for unity in achieving the state’s transformation.
He expressed gratitude to the people’s support and prayers, acknowledging their role in the state’s successes, while encouraging for more prayers, suggestions, and constructive criticisms for the state’s progress.
Reports says that Abuja appellate court upheld the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal’s ruling on Monday, confirming Aliyu’s victory in the 2023 polls.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, dissatisfied with the governorship election petition tribunal’s decision, appealed to the appellate court, contesting Aliyu and Deputy Alhaji Idris Gobir’s victory in the 2023 election. (NAN)
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