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NIGER DELTA NEWS

Sylva deserves GCON for peace in Niger Delta—activist

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Yenagoa—The National President,
Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum (NDNAF), Comrade Wisdom Ikuli has said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva deserves to be conferred with the Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON) National award.

Ikuli appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to confer Sylva with the honour, particularly for his role in engendering relative peace in the Niger Delta region.

Wisdom Ikuli

He added that the gesture would spur Sylva and other patriotic Nigerians to continue to make sacrifices for the country and as well encourage the younger generations to emulate their patriotic zeal and spirits.

Ikuli in a statement on Friday opined that Sylva more than any other leader in the region played a major part in bringing about peace in the Niger Delta.

He said Sylva while as governor of Bayelsa state against the warning of pessimists moved to dialogue and pacify agitators in the region, which according to him, played an instrumental role in the birth of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) by the Umar Musa Yar’Adua-led federal government.

He said Sylva also “facilitated” the passage of the Petroleum Industrial Act (PIA) which he believes would give oil-producing communities a sense of belonging as against the spectator role they previously played.

“It is a known fact that everyone was afraid of the very hostile Militants. Most of the elders and leaders of the Niger Delta never wanted to have anything to do with the militants.

“It was indeed a very horrible period in the history of the country especially because of the untold hardship Nigerians were made to go through because of the crumbling economy.

“It was only Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State that summoned extraordinary courage to confront the hydra-headed monster.

“Sylva left the comfort of the Creek Haven (Government House) and moved from one militant camp to the other to appeal to the agitators to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue.

“There were cases Gov. Sylva even procured Prado jeeps which he ferried through the creeks to give to some of the agitators who demanded that those SUVs should be delivered to them in their villages.

“Ironically, most Niger Delta elders and leaders including State Governors mocked Sylva when he endangered himself and was moving round those camps.

“But to the greatest surprise of the pessimists the efforts and immeasurable sacrifices of Sylva paid off and that led to the proclamation of the Presidential Amnesty by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

“That effort helped in the restoration of peace and stabilization of the economy of the country.

“As Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva facilitated the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which couldn’t see the light of the day in previous administrations.

Ikuli who is also the Executive Director of the Centre for Peace Advocacy and Social Rehabilitation (CPASR) further said the minister was behind the pipeline surveillance contract that was awarded to Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo by the federal government to curb crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

In his words, “Chief Timipre Sylva also facilitated the award of the surveillance contract that will help to fight crude oil theft and bunkering that will help to save the Niger Delta environment and the dwindling economy of the country.

“I can make bold to say without equivocation that no single Nigerian has made the kind of sacrifices Chief Timipre Sylva has made to restore peace in the Niger Delta and also save the economy of our great country. ”

NIGER DELTA NEWS

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

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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

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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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NIGER DELTA NEWS

2023: Diri tasks Bayelsans to shun political blackmail

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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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