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Dickson partners Rotary Int’l, others to address environmental challenges

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa on Thursday partnered with Rotary International and other groups both locally and internationally to tackle environmental challenges confronting the people of Niger Delta region.

 

Mr Akpe Ono, the Head of Media, Bayelsa State Government made this known in a statement on Thursday in Yenagoa.

 

Dickson, who decried the environmental pollution resulting from the exploitation and exploration activities of the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             multinational oil companies said the effect of the pollution had reduced life expectancy of people in the region.

 

He, however, expressed appreciation to Rotary International for nominating Bayelsa government for prestigious ‘Green Wheel Award’ over environmental activities.

 

The governor, who spoke through his Commissioner for Environment, Mr Ebipatei Apaingolo described the award as a welcome development.

 

He restated the commitment of his administration to address environmental degradation in the region, especially in Bayelsa.

 

“The nomination of the state for the globally recognised award is coming at a period when the present administration is taking a critical look at the operations of multinationals as it affects the people of the state; the recognitions is a welcome development,” he said.

 

News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Bayelsa government had recently inaugurated an eight -member Oil and Environmental Degradation Commission headed by a renowned Environmentalist, Archbishop of York, Mr John Sentamu.

 

The commission had as its terms of reference – investigation of environmental, health, socioeconomic, political and human damage caused by operations of multinational oil companies.

 

The District Chair of Rotary International District 9141, Dr Okunzuwa Osawaru noted that the Green Wheel Award was instituted by his district to recognise “any entity deemed to have fostered the environment in the Niger-Delta states.’’

 

“Our district is particularly impressed by the “Rise for Bayelsa” event which was held recently in March with the theme: The Environment: Our present, our future.

 

“It was based on these developments that the organisation decided to honour the government with the prestigious award,” Osawaru said.

Christian Ogbonnaya: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

General news

Judgment: Gov. Dickson reacts as S/Court sacks Bayelsa governor elect

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has called on all political parties to be calm and embrace peace over the ruling of the Supreme Court on Bayelsa governorship poll.

The Court had  nullified the All progressives Congress (APC) victory at Nov 16 governorship election that brought in David Lyon.

The supreme court had ruled that Lyon’s Deputy Degi Ereminyo submitted forged certificates which disqualified the joint ticket and nomination.

The court urged INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to them and reissue same to the next party with the required constitutional spread.

The outgoing governor, Dickson,  said while speaking at a media chat in Yenagoa on Thursday that having peace and stability would move the state forward.

“I commend the supreme court judgment; I call for calm among parties. Let us have peace and stability. Everyone should take it in good faith.

“We should not do anything to cause breakdown of law. We must continue to run an inclusive system.

“The ruling court today has brought victory to all of us and we give all credit to God. I hail the supreme court as an instrument to deliver the judgment.

“I, therefore, call for reconciliation among us as well as other parties in the state.

“As I will be stepping down on Friday, Feb. 14, I am grateful to God and to the people of Bayelsa.

“I known all of you supported me despite difficulties but I believe we have achieved tremendously in the past eight years.

“I urge you continue your support for me and our dear state,” the outgoing governor stated.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu

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Gov. Dickson bags Idoma traditional title

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has been conferred with an Idoma traditional title, ‘Oyi’Ihotu K’ Idoma’ (the cherished son of Idoma land) in Otukpo, Benue State.

According to a statement issued by the Secretary, Idoma Area Traditional Council, Mr Joseph Adah, the governor described the award as a ‘handshake across the Niger’.

The Paramount ruler of Idoma kingdom, Och’Idoma IV, Dr Elias Obekpa, while conferring the title on Dickson at the Och’Idoma Square, said that the honour was in appreciation of his kind gestures toward the Idoma people.

The governor, who hails from the Izon Kingdom, was also adopted as proud son of Idoma kingdom by the Idoma Area Traditional Council.

“It is to demonstrate our appreciation for the cordial relationship that has existed between our people and the people of Bayelsa state,” he said.

He said Dickson had appointed an Idoma man and current lawmaker, representing Ado, Okpokwu, Ogbadibo Federal Representatives, Dr Francis Ottah Agbo, as special adviser on media relations and later, Chief Press Secretary.

He added that the governor also appointed Mr Steven Ekoja, another Idoma man as his Special Assistant.

He also appointed an Idoma man, Innocent Adaji as his Chief Driver and Mr John Adaji as his Farm Manager while some of his cooks are of Idoma and Tiv extractions.

Dickson also appointed a Benue Police Officer, late Insp. Ameh Ogbeh as his Escort Commander.

The paramount ruler lauded Agbo for keeping him informed about the goodwill shown to his Idoma subjects by Dickson.

He enjoined his sons and daughters outside Idoma land to always draw the attention of the palace to similar gestures.

He also used the occasion to call on well-meaning individuals and organisations to invest in Idoma land, assuring that the Palace would not hesitate to honour others who have shown kindness to his subjects.

Responding, Dickson applauded the Och’Idoma and all sons and daughters of Idoma land for the honour done him and the Bayelsa people.

The governor who also stressed the need for more handshake across the tribal divides in the country, advocated for unity among people in different areas of the county.

“Instead of dividing and tearing us apart, instead of promoting sectionalism, instead of promoting policies that tend to divide and separate our people, we should emulate the Idoma Traditional Council by building people together instead of tearing them apart.

“We need more handshakes across the Niger. I therefore urge all of us to close ranks in this country. This award will strengthen the bond between the Ijaw and Idoma ethnic nationalities.

“Your son, my friend, the Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo has a dual identity of being Ijaw and Idoma and has done well at the National Assembly, and I thank you all for supporting him,’’ Dickson said.

On his part, Agbo who facilitated the award said he did so to prove to the world that the Idoma people are grateful people who would always appreciate every kind gesture extended to them.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Gov. Dickson inaugurates Bayelsa Airport, urges FG to issue operational license

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa on Monday urged Federal Government to issue operational license to the Airport inaugurated in the state on Monday.

Performing the ceremony in Amassoma, Southern-Ijaw Local Government Area, Dickson also inaugurated the 2.5 kilometer road leading to the airport.

The governor described the airport project as historic, as it would drive the economy of the state as well as create jobs for the youth.

“This project will continue to bring Bayelsa to the world and the world to Bayelsa. It will bring rapid development. I know this is one of the best airports in the country.

“I want to call on the Federal Government and its agencies to without further delay issue us the licence permit to enable the airport to begin commercial operations.

“They said that our fence is 60 per cent but there are over 20 airports in Nigeria, owned by the Federal Government that do not have any fence.

“We want the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to stop politics and ensure the take-off operations without delay,” he said.

Chief Alfred Diete-Spiff, Chairman, Bayelsa Traditional Rulers Council, described the airport as the biggest one that would bring investors to the state.

Diete-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass and a former Military Governor of Old Rivers, noted that it would bring jobs to the teeming youth and sell the state to the outside world.

Also, the Traditional Ruler of Amasoma, Maj. Graham Nainbga (Rtd), commended the location of the airport in the area and pledged the people’s support at ensuring security of the airport.

Nigeria News Agency recalls that the maiden aircraft landed in the airport in early 2019.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Donald Ugwu

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Gov. Dickson inaugurates Golf Course as Int’l Open Invitational Tournament ends in Bayelsa

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa on Saturday, inaugurated the state’s Golf Course at the end of the International Open Invitational Tournament.

Dickson, speaking at the inauguration and closing of the two days inaugural tourney in Yenagoa, said the Golf Course was in line with tourism development of the nation at large.

The News Agency Nigeria reports that the inaugural tournament, which involved over 28 professional golfers, were drawn from five African countries: Zimbabwe, Gabon, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria.

The tournament also had some professionals drawn from 11 states of the federation which were: Rivers, Edo, Enugu, Delta, Cross River, Kogi, Niger, Lagos, Osun, Abia, Bayelsa States and Abuja

The two-day -event was in honour of the outgoing governor of Bayelsa, Dickson.

Dickson will be vacating the governorship office on Feb. 14 for the Governor-elect, David Lyon.

“This inauguration in my honour is a good development and I believe this should be the best Golf Course.

“This is one of the good ideas I have which has translated into action, my advice to the incoming administration is to work toward achieving greater development for the people.

“They should know that this dream of development is about the future of our state, I hope the next administration will see the need for continuity,” the Governor said.

In the game played during the inauguration, Francis Epe of the Ikoyi Golf Club, Lagos, emerged the winner of Bayelsa Open Golf Invitational tournament.

Epe stroke seven under par over 18 holes to win.

Edited by: Josephine Obute/Felix Ajide

 

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Economy

TUC lauds Gov. Dickson on new minimum wage implementation

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The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has lauded Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa’s decision to immediately implement the N30,000 national minimum wage for workers.

Mr Julius Layi, Chairman of the local congress, told Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Yenagoa that the decision to pay the new minimum wage implementation in January was a welcome development.

NAN recalls that the outgoing governor approved the payment of the new wage on Jan. 11 with effect from January.

The governor’s approval came 11 days after he constituted a 12-member committee chaired by the Head of Service, Mrs Biobelemoye Charles-Onyeama, to work out the implementation of the new wage.

The setting up of the committee was a response to threats by the organised labour to embark on strike should the state government failed to implement the wage by January.

The TUC Chairman noted that the approval for the implementation of the new wage was laudable.

“We are happy the new wage has been approved and would be implemented.

“It is very laudable and the governor also promised to make money available for the completion of the labour house in the state,” he said.

He urged the workers to be focused and dedicated in the discharge of their duties.

The labour leader urged workers to support every policy of the government aimed at improving their welfare.

Edited by: Joe Idika/Felix Ajide

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Politics

PDP wades into Wike-Dickson face-off

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The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has waded into the dispute between Govs. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and Nyesom Wike of Rivers over oil.

The party disclosed this in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday in Abuja.

Ologbondiyan said that the national leadership of the party, having noted the issue, had activated the party’s internal reconciliation mechanism to settle the matter amicably.

“The PDP recognises that the tone of disagreements between the two respected governors were skin-deep and only borne out of their love and zeal for their respective states.

“The PDP leadership hereby urges both Gov. Wike and Dickson, as eminent leaders and frontline stakeholders in our party, to sheathe their swords while the leadership harmoniously resolves the issue,”he said.

Ologbondiyan assured all PDP leaders, critical stakeholders, members and supporters, particularly in Rivers and Bayelsa that the issue was being resolved, urging them to remain calm and united.

“The PDP restates that it remains one big indivisible family and will not allow anything to undermine its unity and focus, especially at this trying time in the history of our nation.”

Edited by: Dada Ahmed
(NAN)

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Bayelsa guber: Accept defeat, stop heating up polity, APC advises Gov. Dickson

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All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa has urged Gov. Seriake Dickson, to stop threatening the state and trying to raise tension following the electoral defeat of his preferred candidate..

APC advised Dickson to tow the path of democracy and rule of law by taking his grievances to the court.

Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, State Publicity Secretary of APC, expressed APC’s position in a statement issued in Yenagoa on Sunday.

The APC spokesman said the call was premised on repeated allegations by Dickson after the loss of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Sen. Douye Diri at the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.

According to him, Diri had lost to the APC candidate and Governor-Elect, Chief David Lyon, who won with over 70 per cent of the votes and defeated his opponent in six of the eight local government areas of the state.

“In the last few weeks, since the overwhelming victory of our candidate at the Nov. 16 governorship election, Chief David Lyon, Gov Dickson has inundated the state and the country with wild allegations and inciting comments.

“He has screamed blue murder at all relevant institutions of state, from the electoral body to security agencies, and the winning APC.

“And he has absolved only himself and his section of the PDP of blame.

“From his furious mind, Dickson has issued threats to the electorate in Bayelsa and APC members, particularly, and he has boasted about his capacity to unleash violence and turn the state upside down.

“Dickson has displayed everything, but commitment to democratic ideals and legal processes of electoral conflict resolution.

“We, however, unequivocally state and also remind Dickson that the elections have been concluded and the governor-elect, Chief David Lyon, is only waiting to be sworn into office as the next governor of Bayelsa.

“And for those who feel aggrieved, like Dickson, there are constitutionally prescribed processes open to them to follow in trying to redress their grievances.

“Disparaging the institutions of state and inciting the public to violence are, certainly not among the processes.

“Dickson is not a court of law, he should stop holding court on the governorship election. He cannot be the plaintiff and judge in a case in which he is an interested party. If he has grievances, the place to go is the electoral tribunal.

“Dickson is also not Bayelsa,  and he cannot claim to be voicing the opinion of the people, who have overwhelmingly spoken with their votes against his nearly eight years of misrule and mistreatment.

“The people of Bayelsa spoke on Nov.16 across political boundaries and the message was clear. Dickson must respect the voice of the people,” the statement read in part.

It will be recalled that Dickson had in a news conference after the election result was announced, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of colluding with APC and security agencies to thwart the will of the people.

Dickson had alleged that what happened on Nov. 16, 2019 was not an election but a ‘coup’ against the Bayelsa people.

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/ Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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Gov. Dickson attributes second term “feat” to divine intervention

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Gov. Seriake Dickson has attributed the historic feat of being the first governor to successfully complete a second term in office in Bayelsa to divine intervention.

Dickson won the Bayelsa governorship in 2011 and won his re-election in 2015 to break the jinx of single tenure for governors in the state from 1999 till date.

However, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which had maintained a grip of power since 1999 lost the Nov. 16 polls to the All Progressives Congress (APC) under Dickson’s watch.

Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary, Fidelis Soriwei, who made the disclsoure on Friday in Yenagoa, quoted that governor as having made the assertion when the set of 1992 Rivers State University of Science and Technology Law students paid him a solidarity visit.

The governor added that if not for God’s intervention he would not have been able to break the jinx to be the first governor to do a straight two-term in office.

“I thank you for your abiding solidarity. This is not the first time individually and collectively you have been here to encourage and to support me in all these period that I have remained here as governor,” Dickson said.

He noted that God was not through with him yet as he never imagined he was going to become governor of Bayelsa but grace and mercy of God took him to the exalted position.

He said that he had done his best for the development of the state and its good people which history would acknowledge.

On the just-concluded governoship election, Dickson accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of compromising the integrity and legitimacy of the outcome of Nov. 16 governorship elections.

He alleged that the umpire in connivance with security agencies to concoct results in favour of the APC.

He maintained that there was no election as the APC came with already prepared results in connivance with INEC and the security agencies who forced it on the people.

According him, the election was a predetermined concoction of figures in the image and likeness of an election but which fell far short of internationally acceptable standards of civility and democratic norms.

He added that the outcome of the last election if not redressed, posed a real danger and looming possibility of the state being taken backwards and affecting generations of Bayelsans negatively.

He, however, expressed confidence in the ability of the judiciary to examine the merits of the two cases pending in the Court of Appeal and doing justice for the overall benefit of Bayelsa people.

Mr Kenneth Chukwuemeka Eke and Chuks Ughuro, who spoke on behalf of other classmates, extolled the virtues of Dickson.

They described him as a phenomenal and visionary leader, an academic and philosopher whose tenure impacted lives positively and transformed the state.

His classmates recalled that Dickson would forever be remembered not just as governor but as a former active member of the House of Representatives who contributed on the floor of the House.

According to them, the governor was instrumental for declaration of the doctrine of necessity that saw the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as President of Nigeria in spite of mounting opposition.

They said Dickson’s signature projects in education, health, social and physical infrastructure such as roads and hospitals have made him to prove his detractors wrong.

They added that the outcome of the elections would not stand the test of time as truth and honesty were sure to prevail over tyranny.

(Edited & Vetted By: Peter Ejiofor)
(NAN)

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Gov. Dickson inaugurates 41-member Transition Committee

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa on Tuesday inaugurated a 41-member Transition Committee in readiness for the inauguration of the incoming administration in the state.

Chief David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the Nov. 16 governorship election and is slated to assume office on Feb. 14, 2020.

The committee which has the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Kemela Okara, as Chairman, also has Mr Talford Ongolo as Deputy Chairman and Mr Luka Obiri as Secretary.

Members of the committee which includes all serving Commissioners, five Permanent Secretaries and political appointees was inaugurated on Tuesday at the Governor’s Conference Room, Government House, Yenagoa.

A statement by Mr Fidelis Soriwei, Chief Press secretary to Gov. Dickson, said the constitution of the Transition Committee was in line with the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Dickson described the governorship election won by the APC on Nov. 16 as a charade.

He,however, noted that irrespective of the outcome of the several initiatives being taken by the PDP, there was still need for a proper handover process to be initiated.

“Knowing that what transpired is not an election, we have to set up a transition committee the first time in our democratic rule.

“I thank God for the grace and enablement for making this possible for eight years and with a lot of achievements,” Dickson said.

According to Dickson, the purpose of the committee is to articulate, record and document all the policies, programmes, projects and achievements of the administration in all sectors in eight years.

“The purpose is to articulate and record all that we have achieved and done in all sectors as a state.

“That’s why all commissioners are part of this committee to enable you to present a scorecard of all our policies and programmes both completed and ongoing projects.”

He said that the outcome of the work  would be handed over in various forms to the incoming administration.

He said the achievements of his administration would be a testimony while Bayelsa people were assured of continually enjoying the dividends of democracy.

He thanked members of the committee for their diligence, sacrifice and manner they served his administration.

In his address, the chairman of the committee, Okara, gave the assurance that before the end of the year the committee would complete its assigned task.

The assignment includes the financial position of the state, in terms of assets and liabilities, in a clear document.

He added that they would produce a very thorough and standard report that other states would envy.

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Gov. Dickson rejects result of Bayelsa poll

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Gov. Seriake Dickson says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would challenge the result of Nov. 16 Bayelsa governorship election in court.

Dickson disclosed this while addressing a world press conference in Yenagoa on Tuesday.

He maintained that the PDP did not lose the election as it was characterised by violence and widespread malpractices which were carefully documented.

Dickson, however, said he would set up a transition committee to work out modalities for smooth handover on Feb. 14, 2020.

“Our candidate, Sen. Douye Diri and the party chairman have been speaking about the charade called election that took place in Bayelsa on Saturday, and the invasion of our state by security forces.

“The dehumanisation of our people and how the majority of the areas and in places, where our people were denied the right to vote for the candidate of their choice.

“The story is all out there that what took place in the state on Nov. 16 was not a democratic election.

“So, today, I’m here to add my voice to all that has been said already, and it was so brazen, it has never been like this in this state before,” he said.

Dickson added: “I know that in 2015, we went through a very though time, there was displayed of federal might, but at least, it was not as bad as this.”

He said the endorsement of Mr David Lyon the governor-elect by ex-president Good luck Jonathan was regrettable and a ploy by the APC to strategically take over the state.

He said that the perception that he alienated PDP stakeholders including the former president was unfounded adding that the primary election that produced the PDP candidate was credible.

“Jonathan remains my oga and I respect him, but there are lots of efforts by certain interest to create a rift between us, there is no politician that has been there for the former president than me.

“He has also helped me but it is unfortunate that I am being misconstrued in this matter of the election, I tried to meet Jonathan for 16 times and he opted to support a candidate that does not wish me well.

“I will soon write my memoirs and people will have a fair view of what happened, the visit of some APC governors to Jonathan who congratulated the APC candidate without congratulating the candidate of his party.

“It is strategic for APC leaders to use Jonathan to legitimise the illegitimacy that happened on Saturday,” Dickson said.

Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Gov. Dickson made victory for APC much easier -Minister

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipreye Sylva has `thanked’ Gov. Serike Dickson of Bayelsa for making it much easier for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), David Lyon, to win the Nov. 16 election.

He disclosed this after presenting the Bayelsa Governor-elect, David Lyon, to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.

Sylva attributed the electoral victory of the APC candidate to what he described as “poor performance by the Bayelsa State government”.

He said: “It’s been a very hectic week but I will like to bring in this Eritrean proverb, that if you marry a wife very well, you will be blessed with another wife.

“Gov. Dickson, unfortunately made our job very easy because he married the wife very badly. Of course this proverb pre-supposes that if you marry a wife badly, you will not get another wife.

“So he did not marry the state very well, so the state roundly rejected him.

“Like it’s been said earlier, we had a good candidate and when you have a good product it’s very easy to sell it. So, we went round and sold this good to Bayelsans and the result was an overwhelming success.

“We are happy with this victory because for us it is very significant. This gives our party a footprint in the Niger Delta, which is very key to us. It gives us more of a national outlook, we have always been a national party but this gives us even a bigger national outlook.’’

Gov. Atiku Abubakar of Kebbi, who alongside his Jigawa counterpart Badaru Abubakar, presented Lyon to the president, commended Buhari for his consistent preaching of fair and transparent elections in the country.

“Many people worked hard in making this happen, most importantly, Mr President, who has always shown the party that win or lose we should aim for free, transparent and fair elections.

“Because, that is what will guarantee peace, confer legitimacy and support for elected persons to proudly execute the mandate that they are given. And in Bayelsa we have seen a demonstration of that.

“Everyone is talking about how free, transparent and fair the elections were.

Abubakar, who is the chairman of All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum, said the APC victory in Bayelsa was well received by almost all citizens of the state.

He said: “We were in Bayelsa for over 72 hours we didn’t see a tyre burning, we didn’t see people running, we didn’t hear a gunshot, everyone was celebrating in all the areas we passed, which shows the acceptance of our candidate, our party and the process itself.

“It is equally noteworthy that Bayelsa is a home of a former president of Nigeria and this election won by a party different from the one he belongs, has been accepted by all including people around him.

“And so far, from what we hear, he is also happy with the outcome irrespective of the difference in the party, which is an indication of the transparency of the process.’’

The National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, who also spoke at the event, said apart from presenting the Gov-elect to the president, they also thanked him for insisting that the elections must be conducted in a peaceful and transparent atmosphere.

“As the President and our father, he has a brand new baby boy who will be sworn- in on Valentine Day February 14, 2020, as governor of Bayelsa State.

“We thanked the president for his fatherly role and he insisted that we must ensure that while we are determined to win the election that we must play by the rule and ensure that the process is transparent.

“Above all the president has always been concerned about peaceful election and we were proud to inform him that besides very isolated cases of ballot box snatching, the election in Bayelsa can be described as the most peaceful.

“I believe since 1999, you as very seasoned journalists who have covered elections in Bayelsa in the past, you will agree that this is the only time we can say the election is truly transparent and peaceful.

“Again, our candidate attracted supports across the political divide when you see territories and communities where his victory was being celebrated you will agree that not only did he had the support of the APC family, he had support beyond the APC family,’’ he added.

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday declared Lyon as the winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa after polling 352,552 votes.

Lyon defeated his closest rival, Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party, who scored 143,172 votes.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Dickson votes, alleges hijacking of voting materials

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa voted at Polling Unit 005, Ward 2, Toru-Orua community, Sagbama Local Government Area of the state, alleging that the All Progressives Congress of working with security agencies to hijack voting materials.

He said after voting that security agencies had aided the APC to move voting materials meant for Nembe and Southern Ijaw local government areas to unknown destinations.

“There is a well-organised election crime ongoing in our state; they have established unofficial collation centres in some places.

“There whole intention is to subvert the will of the people and jeopardise the efforts of well-meaning Bayelsa people to develop the state,’’ he said.

He, however, commended the people of Toru-Orua for their turn-our during the election, saying, “ your passion for positive change is commendable’’

But some community people who spoke to Nigeria News Agency (NAN expressed satisfaction at the level of calm and order in the conduct of the poll.

They said that the presence of security personnel in the community had reduced the tension among the voting public.

Chief Abite Alawei, a community leader said that he was confident that the process would be concluded without violence.

“We have not witnessed any breach of law and order in the community since the process began, our people have conducted themselves orderly.

“As you can see, voting is also ongoing, and the process is orderly, we pray it continues this way till the end,’’ he said.

Mr Amaye Soldier, a teacher, also told NAN that he was satisfied with the conduct of the polling officials in the unit.

“We are watching the process, so far, we are comfortable with the conduct of the election officials, they have shown fairness and purpose,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Gov. Dickson’s residence did not witness the usual beehive of activities that characterise a governor’s country home during elections.

Some local community people say the attention and loyalty of political followers had shifted to candidates of the major political parties contesting the election.

Edited by Kayode Olaitan

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Another Dickson’s aide resigns

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Mr Kenedy Tonjo-West, Senior Special Adviser to Bayelsa Governor on Niger Delta Youth Matters, has resigned his appointment, few days to the Saturday governorship election in the state.
In a letter dated Nov. 13 and addressed to Gov. Seriake Dickson on Wednesday, Tonjo-West did not give reasons for leaving government, but expressed appreciation to the governor for giving him the opportunity to serve.
“I appreciate the rare privilege to work under your administration from October 2015 to February 2016 and from December 2016 to November 2019, an opportunity that deepened my understanding of politics, campaign promises and good governance,” he stated.
Tonjo-West told Nigeria News Agency on telephone that he still remained a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Some members of Dickson’s administration including the Secretary to State Government, Kemela Okara and the Chairman, Board of Internal Revenue, Nimbofa Ayawei, had earlier resigned their appointments to contest in the governorship primaries.
NN/

Edited by Ejike Obeta/Donald Ugwu

 

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Do not abandon PDP, Gov. Dickson urges Bayelsa people on Nov. 16 polls

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has urged the people of Bayelsa to keep faith with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as they go to the polls on Nov. 16 to elect his successor.

Dickson, who made the call in a radio broadcast, on Sunday night, monitored by Nigeria News Agency in Yenagoa, noted that voting against the PDP would amount to betrayal of trust to PDP faithful nationwide.

He said that the faithful of the party who supported former President Goodluck Jonathan to become President would be disappointed if the people of Bayelsa dumped PDP for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

He advised the people to make informed choices between Sen. Douye Diri of the PDP and Chief David Lyon of the APC haven heard the candidates sell their plans as they canvassed for votes in a peaceful atmosphere.

“I advise Bayelsa people in their own interest to keep faith with PDP; the followers of PDP across the country who made sacrifices and supported one of our own to become President will feel disappointed if we abandon PDP.

“It is on record that some of them were attacked for supporting former President Goodluck Jonathan and so it is only reasonable that we remain with PDP,” Dickson said.

On the purported rift with Jonathan over the choice of the PDP governorship candidate, Dickson blamed ‘political jobbers’ for making misleading comments and misrepresenting his actions.

Dickson said that those who claimed to be working for Jonathan did not mean well for the former President.

He said that Jonathan remained his leader, adding that he served as a political strategist to the ex-president.

He, however, added that those sowing the seed of discord between them were unfair to him.

“I do not want to say much but those of them sowing the seed of discord were not there when I fought battles for the former President,’’ he stated.

Dickson noted that he stood with Jonathan and never compromised during his re-election bid in 2015 as some did.

“I told him then that the election was our own and those who wanted to impose a successor on me are unfair.

“I will reveal more in my memoirs when I leave office and people will have the details,” Dickson said.

On the Bayelsa International Airport project, Dickson accused Nigeria’s aviation sector regulators of conspiracy and connivance with APC in the delay to grant regulatory approval for Bayelsa International Airport.

The governor alleged that the APC was sabotaging the development efforts of his party in Bayelsa.

Dickson also blamed the approval delay on the activities of some overzealous officials of the Ministry of Aviation who he accused of playing with the development of the state.

He maintained that the Airport was built to international standards at the cost of less than N70 billion and urged the people to vote against APC for playing politics with the development of Bayelsa.

It will be recalled that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority had inspected the airport in September and insisted that the facility be fenced before final approvals for flight operations.

The state obtained a N40 billion loan to finance the project, and later sought the state Assembly’s approval of an additional N40 billion for its completion and other capital projects.

Meanwhile, the APC in Bayelsa said that computing the interests paid on the loans shot the project sum to over N100 billion, making the airport the most expensive in the world.

Bayelsa APC described borrowing from short term money market at prevailing interest rates to fund a long term project as unsustainable.

The party said that the cost of borrowing made the project a burden on the treasury.
NN/

Edited by Edwin Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu

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Dickson replies Oshiomhole, says Bayelsa Airport not flooded

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has denied insinuations by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, that the newly- constructed cargo airport in the state is flooded.

Dickson, while conducting newsmen round the airport runway on Friday, attributed the delaying in the commencement of operation at the airport to the alleged delay by the regulatory agencies in giving approval for the use of the facility.

He also explained that the amount spent on the acquisition of land, clearing, sand filling and actual construction of the airport was N70 billion as against the N100 billion claimed by Oshiomhole.

Oshiomhole had, during a meeting with the immediate past Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri and some state governors on Thursday, accused Dickson of spending N100 billion on the airport which, he said, had been flooded.

Dickson, however, said: “It is clear from this visit that former Gov. Adams Oshiomole lied when he was quoted as having said that the airport runway is flooded.

“All the visitors confirmed that the 3.5 km. runway was high above flood level.

“So the question is: why is a fellow South-South person deliberately maligning another governor from the region? Is this the way to play politics, even with the development of the people?

“This is the height of flood in Bayelsa state, but as you can see, there is no flood here; we reclaimed these parcels of land before starting the construction.

“This airport has one of the best runways in this country; so we will not join Oshiomhole in playing politics with the fortune of our people,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Manager of Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company, Mr Andrea Battistelli, said that the airport was well constructed and could never have been flooded.

FS/

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Bayelsa poll: PDP not disturbed by defection to APC -Gov. Dickson

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is set to win the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.

Dickson made the remark in Yenagoa during a Media chat on Wednesday, noting that the party was not disturbed by defection of its members to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Elections are by the people and not the leadership of a party. There is need to be interested in the structure to win an election.

“People should not allow themselves to be used or being bought or paid to decamp to a particular party that cannot win election in the state.

“I have the confident that our party, PDP will win, come Nov. 16. Even if 20 to 30 or more people decamp to APC, it does not affect our party. We are not shaking.

“Winning election is by building a workable system and structures; is by being committed. We are very confident to win because our candidate is the best.

“What we want in the state is peaceful poll. Our people should be ready to vote for the right candidate; even though, some have been induced with money. People are being paid to decamp but that’s not a problem.

“My duty is to support security agencies for peaceful conduct of the election. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should step up the game for free, fair and acceptable poll.

OOC/ABI


Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Use federal might to attract devt. to Bayelsa, not violence, Dickson tells Sylva

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has urged the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, to use his position to attract development to the state and not use ‘federal might’ to cause violence during the Nov. 16 governorship election.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Dickson stated this on Monday in Yenagoa during the official flag-off of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship campaign in the state.

He urged Sylva, a former governor of the state, to realise that it was time to bring back the Brass NLNG, Brass fertilizer project and other infrastructure, which would impact positively on the lives of an average Bayelsan.

The governor insisted that PDP would win the governorship election, based on his achievements and performance in governance, which, he said, had made the party very popular among Ijaw people.

He explained that the party’s governorship candidate, Sen. Douye Diri, had garnered the requisite experience in governance and was, therefore, prepared to take over the mantle of leadership and continue with the giant strides that PDP was known for in the state.

Dickson said: “I want to advise the leader of APC, Timipre Sylva; while we know he is a politician, let him not forget to bring our needed development to us.

“This is the time to bring back Brass NLNG, which is in his local government, and the Brass Fertilizer; this is the time to work with me and the government of Bayelsa to bring infrastructures to this state.

“Let him not use ‘federal might’ for politicking only; federal might is meant for development. We, on our part, are doing our best; everything you have here is courtesy of the PDP government.

“From Alamieyesigha to our former president; and even Sylva, some of the good things he did was done under the PDP government; since he went to the other side, he has not added any value to our state.

“But he has the opportunity now, and we thank the president for appointing him. Let him not use that federal might to bring soldiers and police to kill and intimidate us during election again as it was used in 2015.

“We heard people saying that Bayelsa can be won by APC; what you see here is a tip of the iceberg. It will take you one hour to get here; it’s like this in every local government, ward and community; this state is totally PDP”.

The governor cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies against intimidation and harassment of the electorate.

“Please don’t use your power to advance the evil ambition of any politician; our state has been peaceful, and we will continue to work with security agencies to make it even more peaceful,” he said.

Dickson asked the people of the state to form themselves into units, adding “that is how we will continue to defeat the ‘federal might’.

“This time, we will do that in greater number; at the unit, community and ward levels; PDP will win with wider margin than what we had in 2015,” he said.

The PDP governorship candidate expressed appreciation to the people of the state for standing by the party since 1999 and promised not to disappoint them.

Diri promised to harness the aquatic wealth of the state for the good of the people and ensure youth empowerment, while continuing to attract investments into the state to boost its economy. (NAN)

FS/WAS

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Gov. Dickson`s aide resigns

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Mr Michael Ogiasa, the Special Adviser to Governor of Bayelsa on Power Development,  has resigned his appointment.

His letter of resignation was addressed to the Secretary to the Government of Bayelsa State and dated 4th of Oct. 4.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ogiasa, who is from Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government area, did not give any reason for his resignation.

He commended Governor Seriake Dickson for giving him the opportunity to serve Bayelsa State in the capacity of Special Adviser on Power Development. (NAN)

FS/TA

Edited by Tajudeen Atitebi

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Dickson calls for violence-free guber election in Bayelsa

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Bayelsa Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson has called for a violence-free gubernatorial election in the state as the citizens go to the poll on Nov. 16.

Dickson made the call on Friday while speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of the Third Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced that 45 political parties would contest the governorship election in Bayelsa.

Dickson said :” The election is coming and we call for a free and fair election.

“We call for impartiality and professionalism on the part of all the agencies and institutions. ”

The governor alleged that recent elections in the country had been characterised by violence, stressing that the people Bayelsa should be allowed to vote for a candidate of their choice.

“They should be allowed to vote for a candidate that understands the state, a candidate that will continue with the massive infrastructural development that has come to stay in Bayelsa, he said.

Dickson also dismissed the claim by Mr Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), that the APC would win the election.

The governor said the APC could not win in a free and fair election in Bayelsa.  (NAN)

ASO/SOA


(NAN)

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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Bayelsa Assembly leadership crisis: Gov. Dickson recognises new Speaker

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Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has endorsed the election of a new Speaker for Bayelsa House of Assembly which took place under chaotic  circumstances on Monday.

Nigeria News Agency reports that there was heavy shooting at the Bayelsa House of Assembly during a session of the assembly when hundreds of youths stormed the assembly complex in Yenagoa.

Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Emmanuel Isenah, had adjourned the session indefinitely for the house to proceed on recess.

But the youth who besieged the assembly immediately shot sporadically and made away with the mace while some members of the Assembly were still in the chambers.

Some members who sat back reportedly resumed sitting and allegedly impeached the speaker in absentia and elected Mr Monday Obolo (PDP-Southern Ijaw Constituency 2) to replace Isenah.

Dickson, congratulated the newly-elected Speaker, Obolo, in a statement issued on Monday evening by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Fidelis Soriwei.

According to the statement, Obolo is elected Speaker following the impeachment of the former Speaker, Isenah, on Monday.

, however, gathered that the PDP leadership had advised Isenah to resign or face impeachment for the party to realign the balance of power since Isenah hails from the same area as PDP’s candidate in the Nov. 16 guber poll.

Isenah had held the view that his resignation was premature and could only happen after the polls.

The party believed that giving the position to Southern Ijaw, the zone where the candidate of the rival All Progressives Congress hails from might sway voters.

Reacting to the development in a telephone chat, Isenah said that he remained the Speaker as he had earlier adjourned the sitting sine die and only him could re-convene the house.

“I did not resign, neither was I impeached, I presided over the house and I did not preside as an impeached speaker so as we speak the house is on recess and anything done by anyone is a nullity.

“The speculation that there was an understanding that I will resign is false; I challenge anyone canvassing that position to come up with a proof.

“The Bayelsa House of Assembly is an independent arm of government and I want the people of Bayelsa and every stakeholder to know that what happened after we went on recess “is illegal and therefore a nullity,” Isenah said.

NN/DCU

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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