Lagos—Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has said his emergence as Independent Newspapers’ Governor of the Year 2021 is a testament to his achievements so far and a call to do more in office.
Governor Diri, who was honoured as the best in the Good Governance and Responsive Leadership category, received the award at an event held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos on Saturday night.
Receiving the award, Diri dedicated it to the people of the state and his team.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, on Sunday, Senator Diri said the award is for all Bayelsans and members of his Prosperity Administration.
Describing Bayelsa as a peaceful state and the hub of oil and gas activities in Nigeria, Diri said that an enabling environment has been created for investors in various sectors in the state.
He appreciated the media organization for the recognition, noting that he was delighted that his silent achievements were recognized by the newspaper.
According to Diri: “For us, this award is dedicated to my Prosperity Team and indeed the people of Bayelsa State.
“We are happy that our modest efforts are reverberating and have attracted this award. But it is not to be alone as governor but also to the people of Bayelsa and the team of the Prosperity Administration.
“To us, this is a further call to duty. To whom much is given much is expected. So for us, in the face of dwindling resources, the much that we can muster will be able to impact the lives and environment of our state.
“Bayelsa is relatively one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria. It is the hub of oil and gas activities.
“I can assure you that Bayelsa is prepared to host the world. The state now has an airport, which is operational, with two airlines flying to Bayelsa on daily basis from Lagos and Abuja.
“So, the state is open business-wise. We call on investors that Bayelsa is open infrastructurally, spiritually, and physically.”
In his opening remarks, Managing Director of Independent Newspaper Limited, Mr. Steve Omanufeme, stated that the 2021 awards focused on people with outstanding performance in their various fields.
He noted that the awards were to show appreciation to the recipients and expressed the optimism that the gesture would motivate them to do more for society.
Other winners of the night in other categories were: Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Dr. Samuel Ortom (Benue), and their Oyo counterpart, Engr. Seyi Makinde.
Others include; Ijaw nation leader, Chief Edwin Clark, Minister of Transportation, Chief Chibuike Amaechi, his Niger Delta Ministry counterpart, Godswill Akpabio, and the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airline, Chief Allen Onyema among others.
FG set to resume Abuja-Kaduna train services eight months after attack
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’.
Eruani’s donation is unparalleled, says activists, chides critics of Bayelsa businessman
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.
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.
Flood: lawmaker, commissioner give cash to affected constituents in Yenagoa
….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.