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Jonathan, Diri, Wike hail popular clergyman, Zilly-Aggrey at 60



Port Harcourt—Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday joined Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State and the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, at the thanksgiving service marking the 60th birthday celebration of Apostle David Zilly-Aggrey.

The event, which coincided with Zilly-Aggrey’s 29th wedding anniversary, was held at his Royal House of Grace International Church’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Speaking through a virtual message at the service, Jonathan said Zilly-Aggrey’s life had been a blessing to the body of Christ.

Jonathan noted that over the years, the clergyman had worked hard and recorded tremendous successes in the vineyard of God reconciling man with God.

“You have continued to use the pulpit to reconcile man back to God. You have brought peace and unity among people,” he said.

Congratulating him on his twin celebrations, the former president prayed God to continue to sustain him in the path of truth, righteousness and grace just as he wished him more years of marital bliss.

In a statement by Daniel Alabrah,
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor, Diri described Zilly-Aggrey as a man of many parts, who has used his ministry to make a difference in the lives of people by changing their mindset towards the service of God.

Diri said he was joining the people of Bayelsa and Rivers states as well as the entire Ijaw nation to celebrate the cleric and his family, noting that he has cut his teeth in the service to humanity and God.

He restated his position that the people of Bayelsa and Rivers states were one and called for more collaboration to foster peace, unity and development.

“Bayelsans are here in their numbers because they love you. The good Lord who has kept you up to 60 years, we pray will add another 60 years.

“The people of Bayelsa and Rivers are brothers and sisters. Bayelsa was created as a result of administrative convenience to fast-track development.

“We do not need to carry arms against each other. We need to collaborate to bring development very fast to our people.”

Diri noted that as political activities begin to gather momentum ahead of the country’s 2023 elections, the only place to seek political power was in the house of God rather than resort to carrying arms against one another.

He urged Christians not to shy away from politics but actively participate in order to sanitise the system and engender overall development.

“There is no other place to seek for power than the house of God. I am a living testimony.

“Christians cannot run away from politics. Do not say politics is very dirty because after God’s power, you have political power. I encourage all of you to participate in politics in order to change the political atmosphere.”

Also speaking, Governor Wike of Rivers State who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Engr. Emeka Woke, congratulated Zilly-Aggrey on his twin celebrations.

He described the cleric as an inspirational and great man of God whose contributions in the service of the Lord has brought countless souls unto salvation and prayed God to continually bless and prosper his ministry.

Responding, Apostle Zilly -Aggrey expressed gratitude to God for preserving him and his family over the years, saying God had delivered him from death severally.

According to the church’s General Overseer, he has enjoyed overwhelming love and support from both the people of Bayelsa and Rivers states.

He said in 2017, he was honoured as the only clergyman with the Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State (DSSRS) by Governor Wike and for which he remains grateful.

Dignitaries that attended the thanksgiving service include wife of the Bayelsa governor, Dr. Gloria Diri, former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Sir Gabriel Toby and his wife, Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, other lawmakers and commissioners from the state.

Others are Secretary to the Bayela State Government, Dr. Konbowei Benson, wife of first civilian governor of the state, Mrs Margaret Alamieyeseigha, member, Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Chief Remi Kuku among others.


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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