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Dickson braved the waves to Southern Ijaw, as12,000 youths vow to end kidnapping, piracy
The November 11 to 13 tours of communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area afforded the Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson an opportunity to further feel the pulse of the people and get first hand feed backfrom the communities. A significant part of the tour was the denouncing of kidnapping and piracy in the whole of the local government.
Speakers after speakers at the rally in Oporoma, the council headquarters were unanimous in praising the Countryman Governor for developing the state and restoring peace to the once volatile state. Prominent ex-agitators such as Pastor Reuben, and Joshua Makaiva said aside his developmental strides in Southern Ijaw, the governor has projected the dignity of the Ijaw nation. They declared; ‘‘Dickson is an embodiment of the Ijaw man, and based on his development stride, the crowning glory of which is the Anyama bridge, we have mobilized over 12, 000 youths, and we have resolved that as from today, there will be no kidnapping and piracy on the waters of Southern Ijaw. “
This came as news filtered in same Friday that the youth leader and 29 other APC members in Otuan ward in Southern Ijaw have defected to PDP.
In an interactive session with journalists, minutes before he rode on okada to the mega rally at Oporoma open field, Dickson said he deliberately chose to visit the communities for firsthand assessment to enable him assess their needs, and serve them better during his second term. .
His Words: “I am appreciative of the people of Southern Ijaw for coming out enmass to receive me and my entourage. I am also aware of their demands and I am committed towards addressing them, as well as complete all on-going projects in the state.”
He did not leave each community the same way he met it. At all the communities visited, the governor who was overwhelmingly received with gifts and chieftaincy titles, also reciprocated with either commissioning of projects, requests affirmed and promises made..
While almost all the communities got their prayers answered, others have his words especially in the areas of appointments and further infrastructural development. .
The success story is same from Olugbobiri on Wednesday to Koluama 2 through Korokorosei, to Peremabiri where he was decorated as The Peacemaker 1 of Pere Kingdom, Okpotuarri, Lobia 2 and Ekowe among others on Thursday. The campaign train continued at exactly 12.40pm from Opuama on Friday to Eniwari by 1. 45pm, Aguobiri – 2.40pm, Igeibiri in Terakiri clan at about 3.18pm, Oweikorogha (where he stopped briefly by 4.05pm) to Angiama then Oporoma at 5.49. .
Expectedly, like a well-rehearsed script, each community showered the governor with encomium after reeling out his government’s presence in their communities, and reeled out their demands. The governor in his usual style took on each demand and made his pronouncement. At the palace of HRH, N.S. Orianzi, the Ebinanaowei of Olodiama clan, Dickson who was decorated and presented with a sword, had in response to their numerous demands said, “Olugbobiri is my in-laws’ community. I have awarded contract for more inner roads. By the end of this month you will see the contractors as they will be mobilized to site.”
After hailing the governor for being miles ahead of his predecessors in the state in terms of infrastructure development, appointments of theirs sons and daughters into prominent positions, the community spokesperson, Col. Ronald Yeikorogha stated that their demands were, “third inner road, upgrading of the cottage hospital to a full-fledged health centre, more appointment position among others.”
In Koluama, the governor’s instant solution to their pathetic erosion story brought relief to the troubled community, They are one of the three APK (Apoi, Basan and Kaloama) communities who were once a clan that was almost washed off in 1952 disastrous erosion which has now separated them into three clan. While Apoi and Basan have since respectively gotten official recognitions as clans, Kaloama is not.
But Dickson came and made their day as the governor declared thus: “You have asked for a number of things. Kaloama is hereby recognized as a clan. All necessary process will be given express attention to enable you take your rightful place in the state. I will liaise with relevant agencies to tackle the situation and save this beautiful town.”
A prominent son of the town and former agitator for a better Niger Delta, Makaiva had earlier in his speech declared that, “We are one hundred percent PDP. There is no vacancy in the whole Kaloama. We have since 1999 remained wholly in PDP”
Dickson also commissioned a road project at Korokorosei, home town of the Speaker of the state house of assembly. At Opuama, their spokesman, Chief Okoko Stample said, “Since 1999, we have been PDP all through. We have resolved to vote you back for a second term. We believe in you as we are living witnesses to your lofty achievements in all sectors of the state”
He however lamented that in spite of their loyalty, they have no commissioner and top government functionaries.
one of the many highlights was at Peremabiri where HRH, King Progress Ebiseleghe Neverdie went philosophical, quoting Zachariah 7 vs 4 to buttress his points, just as he described Dickson as the David of our time, before his spokesperson dropped a 12-point requests from the countryman governor. Chief amongst them were facilitation of a Navy base, employment of 20 teachers to the primary schools in the area and provision of more infrastructure.
At Eniware, their needs are walkways, healthcare and traditional stool upgrade., while at Angiama 1000KVA generating set was approved for the community, just as the governor informed them that the state has remobilized the contractor handling the state turbine located at Imiringi, back to site.
In all the places visited, Dickson enjoined community, women and youth leaders not to give in to the temptations of violence before, during and after elections.
From the tour, one thing that stood out according to feelers from the communities visited, though Dickson operates with a Pan Nigerian outlook, yet the people see him as an Ijaw laeder who projects the interest of the Ijaw nation within the context of the national interest.
No wonder the Countryman Governor declared: ‘I have a duty to moderate and work with these people and earn their confidence for a stable Niger Delta, because without the stability of this region, there won’t be a stable Nigeria.”
For him, “The stability of Bayelsa is central to the stability of Niger Delta. And that will translate to the stability and unity of Nigeria, as anything to the contrary comes with great consequences to the world at large.”
Another respondent, Israel Richards at Oporoma said, “Dickson has no other choice that to play the role because he is a product of Ijaw movement. Having served in Ijaw National Congress, INC, as national legal adviser, Dickson, who is also the Adaka 2, is a progressive who hit the limelight as the Bayelsa State chairman and national legal adviser of the defunct Alliance for Democracy, AD.” Dickson’s stint with the AD was remarkable because he remained the only state chairman of the party outside the South West who delivered his senatorial district, Bayelsa West to the AD in all elections, culminating in the AD producing the senator, house of reps and state house of assembly members in the 1999 general elections. It was in recognition of Governor Dickson’s sterling performance that the AD apparatchik elevated him to the enviable position of Legal Adviser!
At Korokorosei, David Akari, a boat operator who hails from Eniware , recalled that Dickson as a man of peace, always remind his people, especially the militants, that ‘This is not a time to war war, but to jaw jaw, and build bridges of understanding across the country.’
It would be recalled that Governor Dickson, a grounded grassroots politician, with four others, had floated the Green Movement for Jonathan political evolution, with Dickson as the operational and strategic arrowhead, as he is known and well-respected by Bayelsans across board..
Governor Dickson comes with a bit of activism from the National Democratic Coalition Organisation, NADECO and AD. His prudent management of resources is readily attributed to the Ijebu blood running in his veins because his great grandmother is Princess Olubukola of the Fidipote ruling house, and daughter of a former Awuljale of Ijebu land. His pan Nigerianism was at work when he made the Shehu of Borno the Chancellor of the state owned university, Niger Delta University.
Apart from his zero tolerance for corruption, Dickson’s brand of politics is all about service, as he will readily remind you of his ancestors who were ancient rulers and warriors, and that any child from such background must always serve his people diligently.
Dickson, a Prince of Tarakiri is from Kpadia Ruling House, and his great grandfather was the first king from that kingdom.
He was born of Ijaw mother from Angiama in Delta State while his paternal grandmother hailed from Otor-Iyede in Isoko, also in Delta State.
Apart from having blood relatives in two major geo-political zones of the country, what makes Dickson a highly detribalized Nigerian is that, he is one of the few politicians in Nigeria that builds bridges across political parties, tribes and religions.

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Paris-bound bizman arrested with 111 cocaine wraps




The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a 48-year-old businessman, Emmanuel Orjinze, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for ingesting 111 wraps of cocaine.

The suspect, who claimed to be a professional footballer in Europe, was arrested on May 21 during the outward clearance of an Air France flight to Paris, France.

This was made known in a statement signed by the agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, and shared on the agency’s website on Sunday.

The statement read, “Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested a 48-year-old Paris, France-bound businessman, Emmanuel Okechuku Orjinze, for ingesting 111 wraps of cocaine, which he excreted after days of observation in the agency’s custody following his arrest at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“Okechukwu, who also claims he is a professional footballer in Europe, was arrested on Tuesday, May 21, during the outward clearance of Air France flight AF 878 from Abuja to Paris, France.

“After a body scan confirmed he ingested illicit drugs, he was taken into custody where he excreted a total of 111 pellets of cocaine that weighed 1.603 kilograms over three days. The suspect claimed he did business in the maritime sector while still scouting for any European football club to engage him. ”

In the same vein, the NDLEA officers operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos hinted that they had dismantled another drug trafficking syndicate at the airport.

This, they said in a statement, followed the arrest of four members of the network and the seizure of a total of 8kg of methamphetamine and 7.60kg of Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis imported from South Africa.

The statement added that a drug trafficking syndicate was busted at the airport when an official was caught with illicit substances in their backpack and bag.

On May 21, 2024, the NDLEA officers, supported by aviation security, intercepted the official at Terminal 1 and discovered the drugs during a search, blowing the lid off the syndicate.

“A swift follow-up operation at the Ajao Estate area of Lagos led to the arrest of two other members of the syndicate: Chris Nwadozie and Chinedu Nwaosu. Further investigation led to the arrest of another member of the cartel working within the airport system on Saturday, May 25,” the statement added.

In a related development, the agency also arrested a freight agent, Sonubi Abiodun, for attempting to export eight parcels of cocaine concealed in paint buckets to the United Kingdom.

Additionally, the NDLEA operatives arrested suspects producing and distributing skuchies, a mixture of black currant and illicit drugs, in Lagos, and recovered 2,480 litres of the psychoactive substance.

In Cross River State, a suspect, Ogar Emmanuel, was arrested with 2.5kg of cannabis, while 290kg of cannabis was recovered from the warehouse of Usani Ikpi, who is still at large. Additionally, three suspects – Sa’adu Sule, Mukhtar Nura, and Hamza Nura – were arrested in Katsina State with 70kg of cannabis, which originated from Ogun State.

The statement added, “No fewer than five suspects including Ezekiel Munda, 30; and Sule Mustapha, 21, were arrested by the NDLEA operatives on Thursday, May 23, during raids at the Karu Abattoir, Jikwoyi and Tora Bora hill area of the FCT, Abuja, where 95.01kg of cannabis and different quantities of opioids were recovered from them.

“In Edo State, operatives arrested a physically challenged notorious drug dealer, Zekere Sufianu, 45, at Auchi town on Wednesday, May 22. At the time of his arrest, he was found with 751 grams of Loud, 178 grams of tramadol, and pills of swinol,” the statement concluded.

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FG suit against 36 govs over LG funds begins




The Federal Government has approached the Supreme Court with a suit seeking to compel governors of the 36 states of the federation to grant full autonomy to the local governments in their domains.

The suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, was filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), on behalf of the Federal Government.

The Federal Government is urging the apex court to issue “an order prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders for local governments.”

In the suit predicted on 27 grounds, the Federal Government accused the state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power.

The FG, in the originating summons, prayed the Supreme Court to make an order expressly stating that funds standing to the credit of local governments from the Federation Account should be paid directly to the local governments rather than through the state governments.

The justice minister also prayed for “an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefits of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.”

The Federal Government further sought “an order stopping governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the Constitutionally recognised and guaranteed democratically system.”

The originating summons was backed by a 13-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Kelechi Ohaeri of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Ohaeri, in the affidavit, averred that the AGF instituted the suit against the governors under the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on behalf of the Federal Government.

He said,“The Constitution of Nigeria recognises federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and the three recognised tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the Federation Account created by the Constitution.

“By the provisions of the Constitution, there must be a democratically elected local government system and the Constitution has not made provisions for any other systems of governance at the local government level other than a democratically elected local government system.

“In the face of the clear provisions of the Constitution, the governors have failed and refused to put in place a democratically elected local government system even where no state of emergency has been declared to warrant the suspension of democratic institutions in the state.

“The failure of the governors to put democratically elected local government system in place is a deliberate subversion of the 1999 Constitution which they and the President have sworn to uphold.

“All efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system has not yielded any result and to continue to disburse funds from the Federation Account to governors for non-existing democratically elected local government is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 Constitution.

“In the face of the violations of the 1999 Constitution, the Federal Government is not obligated under Section 162 of the Constitution to pay any state, funds standing to the credit of local governments where no democratically elected local government is in place.”

The AGF, therefore, urged the apex court to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the Constitution to declare that the state governors and state Houses of Assembly are under obligation to ensure a democratic system at the third tier of government in Nigeria and to also invoke the same sections to hold that the governors cannot lawfully dissolve democratically elected local government councils.

Furthermore, he urged to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the Constitution to declare that “the dissolution of democratically elected local government councils by the governors or anyone using the state powers derivable from laws enacted by the state Houses of Assembly or any Executive Order is unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.”

The apex court has fixed Thursday, May 30 for hearing.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees hailed the move by the Federal Government, saying it would join the lawsuit as a concerned party.


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JUST IN: Tribunal affirms Diri as Bayelsa governor




The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Monday, upheld the election that produced Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

A three-man panel led by Justice Adekunle Adeleye dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Timipre Sylva, and the party for lacking in merit.

In a unanimous decision, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove any credible evidence to back up any of the allegations they raised against the re-election victory of Diri.

Details shortly…

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