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Bayelsa PDP stalwart tackles Cocodia over comments on alleged rift between Diri, Dickson

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Yenagoa—A stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, Mr. Solomon A. Otobo has tackled the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on Political Matters, High Chief Collins Cocodia, over comments he made on a live radio programme in Yenagoa on Thursday.

Mangrovepen.ng earlier reported that Cocodia had urged politicians in the state to channel their energy towards supporting Governor Douye Diri, instead of creating discrepancies, conflicts, or disunity with his predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson.

According to him, “People are trying to create confusion where there shouldn’t be. It’s still the same family, the Governor and his predecessor are on good terms, they talk regularly, and sometimes take decisions together.”

“I served as governor’s representative, commissioner for youth development, and sports development, and pioneered the labour, employment and productivity ministry, all under the restoration government. But am here in the prosperity government. Does that remove me from restoration? Certainly no.

“Even the Governor served under the restoration government and then later became a national assembly member under the restoration government. The deputy governor also served as works commissioner under the restoration government.

“So let’s be fair to the two political leaders that we have, and stop trying to create confusion amongst them.”

But in a statement on Saturday, Otobo stated that it is unfortunate for Cocodia to go on air and blame political actors in the state for the rift amongst leaders of PDP knowing that Diri himself is responsible for the confusion and division in the party.

“Is it not the same SA political and other aides of Diri that are the champions of the restoration/prosperity dichotomy and have successfully alienated all those that practically staked everything to install the prosperity government?

“Is the surreptitious formation of a parallel political structure to fight against and totally decimate that of the restoration team which they felt threatened by for whatever reason, not a machination of the SA political and his conspirators?

“Is the propaganda against Diri’s boss not scripted and sponsored by the SA political and his allies under the watch of Diri,” Otobo asked.

Otobo who denied moves of reconciliation among aggrieved members of the party alleged that “rather they are contented that all the restoration champions desirous of any political office have been edged out as this allays the fears of their return for a second term being challenged.”

He averred that casually dismissing the issues on ground as though they are peripheral disagreements is a slap on the faces of those concerned.

The PDP stalwart questioned why first-timers such as the likes of Hon. Naomi Ogoli was not returned to the state assembly as agreed

“Come to think of it, was it not Gov Douye Diri’s sole decision to return all first-timers in the House of Assembly? So what now happened to Hon. Naomi Ogoli? What was the offence of Naomi against the rest that was returned?

“What was the offence of Senator Moses Cleopas? Was it former Governor Dickson’s decision too?

“What about Tolu Amatu who SDD deliberately deceived and attempted to cause disaffection between Dickson and Tolu his trusted son?” Otobo asked.

He noted that “Bayelsans and the good people that sacrificed their lives to install this prosperity government are watching the dance steps even when there is no music yet.”

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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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