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We find corpses, body parts, firearms in refuse bins weekly, says Bayelsa waste management contractor

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Yenagoa—The Managing Director of Brikari Nigeria Limited, waste management contractor of Bayelsa State Government, Mr. Bright Ayebakari, has revealed that weekly the firm officials discover corpses of little children, severed body parts, arms, and ammunition in refuse bins in the state.

According to reports by Vanguard Newspaper, Ayebakari disclosed this when speaking to NDV in Yenagoa, on a program themed “refuse disposal and challenges in the state.”

He noted that the most recent of such discoveries was a human leg found close to the commissioners’ Quarters in the Yenagoa metropolis but added that the severed body part could have been disposed of by a medical facility.

In his words, “In our job, we are not supposed to pick corpses, but we see corpses, we see body parts, we see arms and ammunition at times, these are supposed to be classified. Most times, we see corpses, there is no week that we do not pick corpses of little children.

“Sometimes, the medical facilities amputate body parts, the recent one we evacuated was someone’s leg, an adult, somewhere near the New Commissioners’ Quarters in the state capital.

“I think it emanated from a medical facility located around the area and each time we see things like that, we call the attention of the Commissioner for Environment or the Permanent Secretary and the Police, and if it is a corpse, those agencies will do the needful and bury the corpse.

“Occasionally, we pick arms and ammunition and in such cases, we call the police. Recently, we picked two locally made guns and cartridges and we called the attention of the Special Adviser on Security to the Governor. That is to tell you that our workers don’t want anything to do with crime,” he said.

The contractor maintained that one of the most challenging tasks for his workers in the course of carrying out their duties is having to evacuate human feces, he explained that open defecation is rife in Bayelsa state because most houses in the state have no water system.

According to Ayebakari: “Another thing that results to issues is that we do not have toilets here in some houses, especially the indigenous communities, they do not have toilets.

“They package their human waste in a polythene bag and take it to the refuse receptacles. These are the major issues we are facing. In this part of the world, we do not sort refuse, everything is packed in one place.

“We have medical wastes, organic wastes, metal wastes, plastic wastes, and so on and they are not supposed to be bundled up together, but here, it’s complete confusion because everything is bundled together and we are used to it.

On spirituality and other challenges, the managing director told NDV: “So we see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes we pick native doctors’ concoctions too. If not for God Almighty, we can have some spiritual problems or issues too. That is the kind of environment we operate in.

“Therefore, we have a complete church in our yard. If you are a Muslim, we give you yours and you manage your beliefs. We have four resident pastors, every morning after preaching and prayers, the safety officer still reminds them of what is expected of every staff.

“Our total workforce is now 728 staff. The job is essential, we work every day, we do not have public holidays, especially we, in the administrative department because we supervise the operations. I, as the managing director, work every day, with no leave.

“In our kind of job, there is the tendency to have an epidemic. So among these 728 staff, we have a medical team, we have a technical workshop called TechShop where we have all kinds of mechanics. We also have welders because we do welding and fabrication. We have fuel attendants, we are self-propelled and we have a complete fuel dump in our yard.

“We are in the front-line, like the Covid-19, they will say when you sneeze, use a tissue and dispose of it in a refuse bin. They will bring all those things to the receptacles and we will pick them up. We know the effects of the kind of job we do, we do not see this job as a contract. I see this job as a call to duty and my contribution to society.

“So we do not see it as a contract, we see it as a service to the people and our contribution to society. I tell my workers, we all work together, the money comes in a pool, and we share and call it salary. We have a complete clinic, laboratory, and pharmacy.

“We also have the fumigation department because before you touch anything, we fumigate; after evacuations, we fumigate again so that nothing will incubate there. In the South-South region, I do not know any state capital that is free from refuse as Yenagoa. I travelled around the country.

“I used to have some friends that will come and tell me that this is not the way to do this job. You do not have to use all the money for the job, this is not how the refuse job is done. In some places, there will be refuse and I ask some of them what they mean by that.

“Another one that is retired now, but used to be a civil servant in the Ministry of Environment would come and tell me; ‘look, this job is not done like this, come and settle us because we are the ones that write the report.

“I told him to leave my office, I am from Bayelsa State, I do not betray, this job is a public trust, do not try to advise me to misbehave because if I advised you to go naked, you will not do it so do not come to advise me,” he said.

He continued: “We can only advise because we do not have the power to enforce. Get your refuse packed, bring it to the designated fenced receptacle and drop it, avoiding indiscriminate disposal of refuse. Those who are supposed to enforce the laws governing the tenants and landlords should let the landlords know that they owe the tenants the obligation to provide toilets.

“Many houses do not have toilets, especially the indigenous people, they must know that the state capital and its environs are a complete urban place. Defaulting landlords should be arrested and prosecuted,” the waste management boss noted.

However, Ayebakari noted that despite the challenges, there are positive things to the work.

“We are not used to attacks, sometimes some public-spirited persons give our boys money. There was a day we even picked US dollars in a bag, but something funny happened.

“We picked this bag of dollars from the refuse receptacles, loaded it, and threw it away at the dumpsite, the driver is not used to dollars, so he said that they were fake dollars.

“Then those who picked it called the local bureau de change operators and when they came, they discovered that they were real currency, and before you knew it, some of them got N5 million, N3 million, and so on. So apart from bad things, we equally see good things too,” he said.

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FG set to resume Abuja-Kaduna train services eight months after attack

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Abuja—The Federal Government says train services on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will resume this November.

The Minister Of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo made this known on Monday while giving the score card of his ministry in Abuja, this is according to reports by Channels TV.

He said adequate security has been put in place to ensure the safety of passengers but did not give any specific date for the resumption.

Sambo said the ministry has learnt enough lessons from the attack in March that led to the suspension of train service on the Abuja-Kaduna route.

The minister also noted that a system has been put in place that will ensure prompt monitoring of movements on the rail tracks.

According to him, the system would afford President Muhammadu Buhari, concerned ministries and agencies as well as security agencies the opportunity to see what goes on on the tracks without delays.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) suspended train service along the route after Boko Haram terrorists attacked a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022.

The insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers. The unprecedented attack had attracted international and national outrage.

The terrorists, who attacked the train in Kaduna, released hostages piecemeal with the last release being on October 5, 2022.

Distraught family members had protested several times to demand the release of their loved ones.

Sambo had said the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will not resume until all those kidnapped by bandits in March are rescued and reunited with their families.

A terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu, was on September 6, 2022, arrested in Cairo, Egypt while on his way to Saudi Arabia and returned to Nigeria the next day.

The Department of State Services (DSS) had alleged that Mamu, who negotiated between terrorists and families of kidnap victims, was part of an international terrorist network and used the cover of journalism to perpetrate his deeds.

Popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to whom Mamu is an aide, had faulted the arrest of Mamu.

Gumi had asked the security agency to charge Mamu to court if it had any evidence against him, rather than keeping him in custody.

But the DSS, in its reaction, said it would not be distracted by some skewed narratives in the media and requested to be left alone to concentrate on the ongoing investigations, the outcomes of which it said have remained ‘mindboggling’.

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Eruani’s donation is unparalleled, says activists, chides critics of Bayelsa businessman

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Yenagoa—The National President of the Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum (NDNAF), Comrade Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli has hailed the president of Azikel Group, Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani (CFR) for donating food and other relief materials to flood victims in Bayelsa State.

Ikuli said with the exception of the intervention of the state government, Eruani’s donation to the Bayelsa flood victims is so far unparalleled.

In a statement on Thursday, the ex-agitator while commending Eruani’s gesture hinted that the businessman has donated over 8,000 bags of rice and 1,000 pieces of mattresses to be shared across the eight Local Government Areas in the state.

“So far, besides the Bayelsa State Government that led the Relief distribution campaign with N450Million and the recent announcement of an additional N450Million, making it N900Million.

“Few other publicly spirited individuals have also reached out including Mr. Peter Obi; Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) who gave an undisclosed amount which is promised and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but that of Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani CFR; the President of Azikel Group which has raised a lot of dust remains the highest.

“Dr. Eruani has procured 8000 Bags of 50KG Bags of Rice for onward distribution to the 8LGAs in the state, meaning 1000Bags per LGA. Presently, the market price of 50KG in Bayelsa state is N50,000.00. Meanwhile, the 8000 Bags were bought at the cost of N45,000.00 per bag.

“Going by my elementary knowledge of arithmetic, you have 45,000×8000 = N360,000,000.00 in the figure while in words, it is Three Hundred and Sixty Million Naira.

“The above excludes logistics and the transportation of the rice from Abuja where they are moved to Bayelsa state.

“Very importantly, earlier Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani CFR had sent 1000 mattresses to Bayelsa state so that they can be distributed to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The market price of one of those mattresses is not less than N5000 but let us use N5000 as the benchmark, N5000×1000 = N5,000,000.00.”

The activist further chided those he said have been writing unprintable things on social media about Eruani since the announcement of his donations.

He added that Eruani has no obligation to donate but did so out of his compassion and his humanitarian character.

Godbless Azipabu Eruani

He said, “Surprisingly, most of those negative words are coming from people whose supposed ‘political godfathers’ have not donated a grain of rice to IDPs not even to them the ‘master am loyal boys’.

“For the records, Dr. Eruani is not under any obligation whatsoever to donate relief materials to anyone.

“He left the government over 15 years ago or thereabout where he only served as special adviser and commissioner at a time Bayelsa State allocation was very low so he cannot be accused of making his present wealth through government.

“His donation was not political but was purely on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. But come to look at it, even if it is political, how much have their godfathers with ambitions and those who are already contesting donated? ”

While also lauding the Eruani for being conferred with the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR), Ikuli noted that Bayelsans do not value their own.

Ikuli who is also the Executive Director of the
Centre for Peace Advocacy and Social Rehabilitation (CPASR) described Eruani as an illustrious Ijaw son whose hard work he said has seen him make strides in the aviation, marine and other sectors with employees from different racial backgrounds.

He further hailed him for his philanthropic engagements, noting that the businessman has sponsored academic scholarships and skill acquisition programmes for many people over the years.

“This is a young man whose hard work has made him succeed in the aviation sector, marine, and other areas. He owns 3 aeroplanes and 2 gelicopters.

“He owns fleets of dredgers with Azikel Dredging Company as one of the leading dredging companies in the country and Africa as a whole.

“This is one illustrious son of the Ijaw Nation that has employed many whitemen as pilots with many blacks and Bayelsa state making the highest percentage of his workforce.

“He has given scholarships to countless numbers. Same with many he has sponsored them to acquire skills in many trades that have made them self-reliant and useful to society. The above excludes the multitudes that depend on him for their daily upkeep,” he noted.

He however urged “youths to think of channeling our God-given intellectual prowess into gainful ventures instead of always attempting to trivialize or water down the genuine benevolence, goodwill and philanthropic gestures of others.

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Flood: lawmaker, commissioner give cash to affected constituents in Yenagoa

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….as beneficiaries express gratitude

Yenagoa—The lawmaker representing Brass Constituency I in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Dr. Daniel Charles, on Thursday gave cash donations to his constituents who have been affected by the rampaging flood in Yenagoa, the capital city of Bayelsa State.

According to a statement by the Media aide to the lawmaker, Munafa Richard Clever, the cash donation exercise was successfully carried out without consideration of party affiliations and with the help of the commissioner for special duties, Bayelsa East, Hon. Preye Brodrick and other stakeholders from Brass Constituency I.

The lawmaker empathized with the flood victims, saying the funds will serve as an emergency relief measure to cushion the devastating effect of the flood for victims.

Expressing gratitude to the lawmaker for the gesture, a stakeholder of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and indigene of Twon Brass, Mr. Dan-Suobo Bewa Ockiya said the intervention was timely and came at a time when material and financial resources of victims of the flood were dwindling.

He prayed for replenishment for the leaders who made the cash gift possible.

“The flood amelioration package gifted us by two of our leaders came at the best of times, when all material and financial sources of hope were invisible but God did the miracle by using Hon. Commissioner Preye Broderick and Hon. Daniel Charles to provide a lifeline.

“I truly appreciate the gesture from the bottom of my heart and pray that God refills till there is an overflow. Thank you so very much, my leaders and friends,” he said.

Similarly, Mr. Yibo Ebenezer Oti, an indigene of Liama expressed gratitude to the lawmaker on behalf of beneficiaries from Liama community in Brass constituency I.

Oti commended the Brass Constituency I PDP leaders for reaching out to their constituents affected by the flood and added that the gesture was timely.

According to him, “On behalf of the good people of Liama community of Brass constituency 1, ward 6 residing in Yenagoa, the State capital of Bayelsa State, I appreciate Hon. Daniel Charles and the Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties Bayelsa East in the Prosperity-led Administration of Governor Douye Diri, Hon. Preye Brodrick for reaching out to our people to help mitigate our plight by providing cash gifts & succor in the cause of the ravaging flood.

“The kind gesture is very timely and a welcome development to show leadership capacity in representing us.”

Oti further called on government at all levels as well as relevant agencies and well-meaning individuals “to partner to mitigate the effect of the flood hazard that has so far caused untold hardship on our people.”

He further expressed optimism that Bayelsans would surmount their current challenges in no distant time.

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