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We have secured 500 convictions of human traffickers from 2004 to date, NAPTIP reveals



Yenagoa—The Zonal Coordinator of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Person (NAPTIP), Barr. Nduka Nwanwenne has said the agency has secured 500 convictions of human traffickers since its establishment by the Federal Government, Leadership newspaper reports.

He said even though Nigeria during the establishment of NAPTIP was at a low ebb in organized crime, the agency started with one conviction in 2004 and has had over 500 convictions to date.

Nwanwenne, who made this known during a call on the Chairman of the State Gender Response Initiative Team, Barr. Dise Ogbise in Yenagoa stressed that the issue of human trafficking for any purpose is not an isolated problem to Bayelsa or Nigeria, but a global problem, therefore the need for collaboration with different stakeholders such as GRIT, security agencies, traditional and religious leaders.

Nwanwenne, who is in charge of Bayelsa, Delta and Edo states, was accompanied on the visit by Bayelsa State Commander, Mrs. Abieyuwa Ehidenro, Head of Operation, Daniel Ibe and the PRO Wariebi Sambo, pointed out that building collaboration is enshrined in the law that established the agency. He said Nigeria in 2003 signed to the transnational organized crime protocol.

He pointed out that NAPTIP is the Federal Government of Nigeria’s response to addressing the scourge of trafficking in persons, noting that NAPTIP is both an enforcement and welfare agency that enforces the law and also supports the victim to be reintegrated back into the society through capacity building.

The Zonal Coordinator highlighted the agency’s thematic areas as Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Participation, adding that his team would be delighted to collaborate with GRIT in these areas to ensure that traffic in persons is minimized in the state as humans are priceless and not commodities that should be purchased and or resold.

He applauded GRIT for what it has been doing in promoting the rights of vulnerable groups and helping survivors get justice, declaring that he has been following up with GRIT activities which are closely related to the mandate of NAPTIP.

Nwanwenne also informed the GRIT that the Bayelsa Task Force of NAPTIP would be inaugurated in the state very soon. The state committee will work to strengthen Sensitization and awareness creation, arrest and provision of a safe home.

He added that his team would be delighted to collaborate with GRIT in these areas to ensure that traffic in persons is minimized in the state as humans are priceless and not commodities that should be purchased and or resold.

The Secretary of GRIT, Inatimi Odio, welcomed the NAPTIP team to GRIT office and assured them of GRIT’s readiness to collaborate with them in curbing organized crime.

Responding, the Chairman of GRIT, Barr. Dise Ogbise informed the NAPTIP team that the GRIT was put together by the First Lady of the State, Dr. Mrs. Gloria Diri and was inaugurated in September 2021 by the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri.

She added that GRIT would continue to collaborate with NAPTIP. Cases of trafficking in person have been referred to the state office, partnered with the office in a road walk.

Ogbise decried women’s involvement in trafficking in persons and assured that GRIT will collaborate with NAPTIP to advocate for the establishment of a safe home in the state, which will strengthen enforcement and sure justice is served.

She stressed the need for inter-agency collaboration, particularly with the police in handling cases of trafficking in person and also the need for capacity building with the police to understand the mandate of NAPTIP to effectively implement the law.


Bayelsa community gives FG, state govt 2-day ultimatum over devastating erosion




Yenagoa—The people of Obogoro Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have given the Federal and State Governments a 2-day ultimatum to address the devastating effect of erosion which has claimed many lives and properties or face any action that would be taken by the community.

The Tide reports that they made this known during a candlelight procession held in Obogoro for men, women, youths and children who have lost their lives due to the recurring erosion in the community.

The Convener of Save Obogoro Community From Erosion Foundation, Coach Ada Gwegwe, said the community has written several letters to both the Federal and State Governments to respond to the community’s demand but all to no avail, adding that the community is planning to stage a protest to drive home their demands.

“We have been crying and nobody wants to listen to us. They came and awarded the contract and started the work but the dredger is just packed there, nothing is going on.
Read also: Erosion: Group set to embark on protest over stalled canalization project in Bayelsa community
“We have done everything to reach out to the government but to no avail, this is the last option we have, to go on peaceful protest”, he said.

Also speaking, the Coordinator of the Save Obogoro Community From Erosion Foundation, Comrade Sunkeme Gbegbe, sympathized with those affected by the erosion and attributed the state of the community to that of a dead meat.

“Erosion has taken so many lives, we are also sympathising with those that are homeless. We have called on the government and the federal level and other relevant agencies, we’ve written so many letters but all to no avail”, Gbegbe said.

Some residents of the community cried out to the government that so many lives have been lost and many rendered homeless due to houses being washed away by the effect of the erosion.

“We gather together with grief in our hearts on what is happening in our community: the houses that are collapsing, the people dying, we are pained, we plead with the government to help us because we are losing our houses and lands”.

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2022 Flooding: Bayelsa govt directs fresh distribution of items to communities, acknowledges donors




Yenagoa—Bayelsa State government has acknowledged donations from international agencies, state governments, political parties and their presidential candidates, individuals and corporate organisations in the wake of the 2022 flooding that ravaged the state.

Governor Douye Diri in his opening remarks at the weekly state executive council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, on Wednesday disclosed that the government received donations in form of cash, foodstuff and other materials from well-meaningful individuals and corporate organisations during and after the floods.

According to a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, Diri restated his administration’s commitment to transparency and assured the people that they would not be left in the dark as regards the flood donations.

He listed the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, the Akwa Ibom and Lagos state governments, which donated N100m and N50m respectively, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar (N55m), and his counterpart in the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Adewole Adebayo (N10m) as some of the donors.

Other donors are Dr. Azibapu Eruani of the Azikel Group, who he said has started redeeming his pledge of N350million worth of items, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Century Energy Group, Chief Ken Etete (N50m).

The governor also disclosed that the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria donated $100,000, Access Bank N100m, Zenith Bank N20m, Linkage Assurance N20m, Sterling Oil N15m, Paache Construction N10m and AITEO N50m.

According to Diri, organisations that donated items include the Tompolo Foundation 440 cartons of noodles, 595 bags of 50kg rice, 35 jerrycans of 25kg palm oil, groundnut oil 180 cartons, garri 40 50kg bags, beans 20 100kg bags as well as 500 tubers of yam.

Others are Globus Bank 70 bags of 50kg rice and 100 cartons of noodles, Stanbic Bank 146 4×6’ mattresses, 148 pillows and 150 plastic buckets.

The rest are Julius Berger 100 bags of 50kg rice, Redeemed Christian Church of God 100 bags of 50kg rice, Brass Petrochemical and Fertiliser Company 100 bags of 50kg rice, 100 bags of 50kg garri and 100 bags of 100kg beans.

Diri directed the task force on flood mitigation and management and the Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (BYSEMA) to immediately resume distribution of items in the warehouse to all affected communities in the state.

He also assured that the donations will be prudently used and urged people of the state to exercise patience with the process of distributing the relief materials to victims.

He further stated that the process will be devoid of political colouration.

His words: “We never played politics with the flood and the relief items for victims. The whole world saw it. Those who came to play politics, the whole world equally saw them.

“In all that we did, we never discriminated against any political party. And we commend particularly our people that bore the brunt of the flood.

“As a government, we will take decisions in the best interest of our people. Everything should not be politicised.“

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2023: Diri tasks Bayelsans to shun political blackmail




Yenagoa—Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has cautioned political actors to desist from character assassination and blackmail in their quest for power in the state.

Diri said it was appalling how some politicians in the state have resorted to maligning the character of opposition party contestants and members in the guise of political campaigns.

The governor spoke on Tuesday evening during the service of songs in honour of late Mama Bebeapere Agbedi, mother of the member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Dr. Fred Agbedi, at the Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall in Yenagoa.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that elections would come and go but the people would remain brothers and sisters.

He stressed that the best path to living a long and fulfilled life was showing love and appreciation for one another.

Diri emphasised that as long as power comes only from God, nobody can overturn what has been divinely ordained for the state.

He said: “Political times are here and there is so much in the air – propaganda, lies and blackmails. You do not know which one to believe anymore. That was not the kind of life Mama lived.
Read also: Why corruption is so common in Nigeria, Jonathan reveals
“The fact you want a political office should not make you to malign the character of another person. Elections will come and go, as I always say, but we will all remain brothers and sisters.

“For me, the best path to tread and the best way towards living the kind of life that we are celebrating today is to continue to show love and appreciation. No matter who is blocking it, when God says this is yours, nobody can stop it.”

While extolling the virtues of the matriarch, who lived 111 years, Diri described her as a quintessential woman, who made a lot of sacrifice for mankind.

In a sermon titled: “A Good Name,” Bishop Dotimi Egbegi said for one to be spoken well of after death, the individual must have a good name while alive.

Bishop Egbegi noted that people can only amend their ways while alive and by living for others in order to bequeath legacies that cannot be altered.

Giving a testimony about his mother, Dr. Agbedi she instilled discipline in him and his siblings as well as investing meaningfully in their educational advancements.

The House of Reps member described his late mother as a principled but humble woman, a trait that he said is also found in him.

He thanked the governor for demonstrating love and support towards him and his family by his presence at the event to honour their matriarch.

Also present at the solemn gathering was the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, past and serving members and colleagues of the chief mourner from the National Assembly, state legislators, chairman of the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Solomon Agwana, members of the state executive council, politicians from different political parties as well as top government functionaries and members of the clergy.

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