Tag Archives: bayelsa

Govs of Rivers & Bayelsa, Wike & Diri fights dirty over Soku Oil Well.

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RIVERS and Bayelsa states have renewed their hostilities over the ownership of the Soku oil fields in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area and the revenue accruing from it.

Bayelsa Governor Douye Diri faulted the payment of the revenue from the Oil Well to Rivers despite the state’s appeal against a judgment ceding the resource to Rivers.

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But his Rivers counterpart Nyesom Wike, disagreed.

He described Diri’s call to halt the ongoing remittance of Soku’s revenue to Rivers as unfortunate.

The Federal High Court in December 2019 declared that the oil wells belong to Rivers.

It ordered the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to pay revenue from the oil fields to the state.

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Wike, who spoke when a delegation of RMAFC, led by Alhaji Mohammed Usman, visited him in Government House, Port Harcourt, insisted that the oil wells belonged to Rivers.

He urged RMAFC to continue paying the revenue to his state.

Wike said: “It is unfortunate that the Bayelsa State Governor told you when you visited him that you should not pay us revenue from Soku Oil Well.

“The matter was at the Supreme Court when the National Boundary Commission admitted that they made an error in their 11th edition publication by situating Soku Oil Well in Bayelsa State.

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“They were, therefore, directed to correct the error in their 12th edition publication. When they also failed to correct it, we had to go back to the Federal High Court.

“The court, in its wisdom, directed that all revenue accruing from Soku Oil Well should be paid to Rivers State. That is the position.

“For Bayelsa State governor to come up to say that you should not pay us our money is unfortunate.

“If they have filed a matter at the Supreme Court, it is not an injunction to stop the implementation of the subsisting judgement.”

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Diri, who had earlier the RMAFC delegation in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, flayed the deductions in favour of Rivers.

He said the action was tantamount to ceding Bayelsa territory indirectly to Rivers.

He urged the commission to revisit its decision until the Supreme Court decides the boundary dispute.

He lamented that the action significantly affected the state’s allocation for this month.

Diri said: “The action by the commission is tantamount to ceding a part of Bayelsa to Rivers, which can breach the peace between both sister states.”


#Newsworthy…

Douye Diri calls to amicably resolve dispute between Rivers and Bayelsa.

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Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has called on the Rivers State government to show understanding in order to amicably resolve the dispute between Oluasiri Clan in Bayelsa and their Kalabari neighbors in Rivers.

The Oluasiri communities in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa and their Kalabari Ijaw kinsmen are locked in dispute arising from the location of oil wells within the boundary area.

Diri made the plea in Yenagoa during a meeting with stakeholders from the Oluasiri clan led by the paramount ruler, Chief Iyerite Awululu.

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He sought the support of Ijaw leaders and elders to resolve the age-long feud between the two Ijaw communities.

In a statement by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the governor said the state government will protect its territories and work with the communities to ensure safety of residents.

“I’m calling on my brother governor of our sister state that this is a time that we need to look at the realities.

“As a people from the old Rivers State, we need to sit together and resolve our internal disputes, which should be easy to do because both feuding communities are of the Ijaw extraction.

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“We have no difference between the Nembes and Kalabaris. They are all Ijaws and so no other person should beat the drums of war against two friendly Ijaw clans,” he said.

To this end, Diri directed his deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, to chair a committee to drive the process of peaceful resolution of the boundary adjustment issues. He also restated his administration’s resolve to ensure the protection of lives and property across communities in the state.

The governor said his administration would engage security agencies on the need to curtail acts of lawlessness, particularly in the Oluasiri axis of the state.

“I will sit with my security commanders and see if we can beef up security in Oluasiri to protect lives and property.

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“We have already set the ball rolling and we will take some security measures in that area in the interim pending when a substantive police station will be set up,” he said.

Also, the governor directed the state Ministry of Health and Water Resources to make the cottage hospital built by Shell Petroleum Development Company functional as well as provide potable water.

Earlier, spokesman of the clan, Mr Iniruo Wills, highlighted a number of issues that require government’s intervention.

Wills said the meeting was to seek assistance in the areas of security and resolution of the legal dispute between the two states concerning the boundary delineation among others.


#Newsworthy…

Bayelsa’20: I’ll appeal tribunal’s verdict – Duoye Diri

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The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has revealed that he will appeal the ruling by the tribunal nullifying his election as governor of the state.

He also said that he has instructed his lawyers to file the necessary papers.

Governor Diri disclosed this shortly after the tribunal ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wrongly excluded the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) governorship candidate in the November 2019 election.

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The governor said he has implicit confidence in the judiciary and he would triumph at the end.

“We trust in the judiciary and we are appealing the judgement. With God on our side, we will get justice.

“This is a court of the first instance and I have instructed our lawyers to file an appeal. We have a right to appeal even up to the Supreme Court.”

The governor urged members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his supporters not to panic but continue to remain calm and law-abiding.


#Newsworthy…

Bayelsa’20: Tribunal nullifies election, Duoye Diri to make appeal

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The Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal on Monday nullified the election of Governor Douye Diri.

The Tribunal also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to order a fresh election within 90 days.

The verdict follows the petition by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) challenging the victory of Governor Diri in the November 19 governorship election.

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The ANDP claimed that the party was unlawfully excluded from the election.

In a split judgement of two-one, the three-man panel ruled that INEC does not have the power to disqualify any candidate for an election.

INEC in its argument had said that the party’s Deputy Governorship candidate was 34-year-old as at the time of nomination and therefore did not qualify to contest the election.

ANDP told Justice Yunusa Musa, who delivered the lead judgment that its initial Deputy Governorship Candidate, David Esinkuma was duly substituted by the Party within the allowed time frame, following the notification from INEC that he’s under-age.

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Justice Musa in his response said that INEC has no power to disqualify any candidate and insists that the petition of the ANDP stands.

He also added that only a court has the power to disqualify any candidate for any election and that the petition was filed within 21 days, which is the stipulated time for petitions to be filed.

Justice Musa described the action of INEC to exclude the ANDP from the Bayelsa Governorship Election as illegal.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Muhammad Sirajo, however, dismissed the petition on technical grounds.


#Newsworthy….

Bayelsa’20: Tribunal set to deliver judgement on petitions against Duoye Diri.

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The Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal is set to deliver judgment on the petitions of the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) and the Accord Party, challenging the victory of Governor Douye Diri.

The ANDP is claiming that the party was unlawfully excluded from the November 2019 governorship election.

But the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in its argument said that the party’s Deputy Governorship candidate was 34 years old as at the time of nomination and therefore did not qualify to contest the election.

In today’s sitting the ANDP told Justice Yunusa Musa who is delivering the lead judgment that its initial Deputy Governorship Candidate, David Esinkuma was duly substituted by the Party within the allowed time frame, following the notification from INEC that he’s under-age.

Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri,
The tribunal had earlier dismissed three petitions against the election of Governor Douye Diri.

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In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Owodunni, the tribunal held that the petition filed by Owei Woniwei of the Alliance for Democracy is incompetent and lacks merit.

According to the Tribunal, the petitioner failed to prove the allegations of the forged declaration of age and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharged certificate levelled against the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence.

The second judgment between Ibiene Stephen versus the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Duoye Diri, his deputy, and PDP was also heard by Justice Yunusa Musa.

The Tribunal dismissed United Peoples Congress’ petition challenging Governor Diri’s election.


#Newsworthy…

Bayelsa’20: Tribunal dissolves three petitions against Duoye Diri.

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The Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal has dismissed three petitions filed against Governor Douye Diri challenging his victory.

The three-man panel that sat on Saturday took the decision in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Owodunni, the tribunal held that the petition filed by Owei Woniwei of the Alliance for Democracy is incompetent and lacks merit.

This comes a month after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by a former aspirant of the Bayelsa governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Timi Alaibe, challenging the candidacy of Senator Diri in the November 2019 election.

…more to come


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Tribunal confirms Duoye Diri’s election as Bayelsa governor.

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The Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the election of Senator Duoye Diri as Bayelsa State Governor.

The three-man panel took the decision on Saturday a month after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by a former aspirant of the Bayelsa governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Timi Alaibe, challenging the candidacy of Senator Diri in the November 2019 election.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Owodunni, the tribunal held that the petition filed by Owei Woniwei of the Alliance for Democracy is incompetent and lacks merit.

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The Tribunal further held that the petitioner failed to prove the allegations of the forged declaration of age and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharged certificate levelled against the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence.

The second judgment between Ibiene Stephen versus INEC, Governor Duoye Diri, his deputy and PDP is being delivered now by Justice Yunusa Musa

The Tribunal dismissed United Peoples Congress’ petition challenging Governor Diri’s election.

The last judgment to be delivered is between Vijah Opuama of Liberation Movement against INEC, Senator Duoye Diri, his deputy and the PDP.


#Newsworthy

Bayelsa’20: Duoye Diri set to know fate upon Tribunal judgement.

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The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja is set to deliver judgments in three petitions.

The petitions are that of Vijah Opuama of the Liberation Movement versus the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and three others.

The second petition is between Ibiene Stephen of United Peoples Congress and INEC and three others while the third petition is between Owei Woniwei of Alliance for Democracy and Governor Duoye Diri and three others.

The petitioners are challenging the election of Senator Diri as the duly elected Governor of Bayelsa State.

This comes a month after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by a former aspirant of the Bayelsa governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Timi Alaibe, challenging the candidacy of Senator Diri in the November 2019 election.

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Alaibe who had earlier lost a similar suit at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal is claiming that he is the authentic candidate of the PDP.

But the court dismissed the case on Tuesday, on the ground that it was a pre-election matter.

Governor Diri was sworn in on February 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

Lyon’s election was nullified for submitting forged certificates to INEC.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Buhari attends commisions of 17-storey NCDMB building in Bayelsa

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– 1:15 PM –

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday tuned-in to the virtual commissioning of the 17-storey Nigerian Content Tower of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa.

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, delivered a speech at the commissioning.

The NCDMB building comes with its own 10 Megawatt gas-fired power plant and a 1,000 seater conference hall.

President Buhari is also expected to commission the power plant, which was built in partnership with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, the NCDMB said.

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, also attended the commissioning virtually.

– 1:32 PM – Buhari commisions 17-storey NCDMB building in Bayelsa

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday virtually commissioned the 17-story Nigerian Content Tower in Bayelsa.

The tower is a project of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and will serve as its headquarters.

President Buhari, in a speech broadcast via Zoom from the State House in Abuja, described the tower as historic.

“I am pleased that the project has been delivered by local contractors, supported by local engineers and project consultants,” the President said. “We must all be proud that we finished what we started.”

He then mandated the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, to physically commission the building on his behalf.

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, also delivered a speech at the commissioning.

The NCDMB building comes with its own 10 Megawatt gas-fired power plant and a 1,000 seater conference hall.

President Buhari also commissioned the power plant which, according to the NCDMB, was built in partnership with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, also attended the commissioning virtually.

The NCDMB was established by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act which came into effect on April 22, 2010.

#Newsworthy

Operation DELTA SAFE invades militants camp, kills 6.

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The Defence Headquarters has said that troops of Operation DELTA SAFE, on Tuesday, in Bayelsa State, invaded a Pirates’ camp killing six militants.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the military spokesman, the troops acted on credible intelligence and monitored movements of a suspected pirate/sea gang leader, who sneaked into town from Port Harcourt.

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The troops later raided the pirates’ camp at Tukugbene-Ayama Ijaw Local Government Area where they arrested both suspects and their gang members.

General Enenche disclosed that upon arrival at the personal jetty of the suspect, troops engaged in gunfire from pirates/militants in five boats that approached from adjoining creek.

Slide to see images

He further revealed that three AK47 rifles with a magazine, two 200 HP Yamaha outbound engines and three 115HP Yamaha outbound engines were also recovered during the operation.

The Military High Command commended the troops for their dexterity and advised them to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of pirates/militants in the Niger Delta region.

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Below is a full statement of the operation as published by General Enenche.

TROOPS OF OPERATION DELTA SAFE RAID PIRATES/MILITANTS CAMP AT TUKUGBENE AYAMA IN SOUTHERN IJAW LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BAYELSA STATE

Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE acting on actionable and credible intelligence on a suspected pirate/sea robber gang leader one Mr LANRE mounted surveillance on the suspect who came into town from Port Harcourt with one AYI ABUH also a notorious Kidnapper/pirate. Subsequently, troops conducted a raid operation of the pirates’ camp at Tukugbene-Ayama ijaw LGA Bayelsa State on 4 Aug 20.

The operation was aimed at extracting both LANRE and AYI ABUH as well as other members of the gang from the community. Upon arrival at the personal jetty of the suspect, troops met heavy resistance from harassing gun fire from pirates/militants in 5 boats that approached from adjoining creek. The overwhelming fire power of own troops led to the forceful withdrawal of the pirates/militants with various degree of gunshots wounds. The gallant troops sustained the fire fight until 5 of the pirates/militants were neutralised ashore.

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Furthermore, three of the attacking boats were sunk while the occupants with various degree of gunshots wounds escaped into the river. In the process, troops recovered 3 boats from the pirates. Additionally, own troops took over the jetty and advance to the objective area which was empty. It was believed that while the exchange of fire was ongoing LANRE and AYI ABUH escaped. A complete cordon and search was carried out on the building where the suspects were believed to be residing and thereafter the building was cleared. In the process, troops recovered 3 AK47 rifles with a magazine, two 200 HP Yamaha outbound engines and three 115HP Yamaha outbound engines.

Relatedly, troops acting on credible and actionable intelligence about a notorious criminal/kidnapper and oil thief popularly known as AKALAMI High Chief AKA SAMMY. Troops swiftly mobilized to conduct raid operation at his identified hideout along Mbiama East West road. During the operation, the kingpin was neutralised while attempting to escape. Items including a localliy made pistol and cartridges were recovered from the criminal. Sammy is reported to be a close ally to a notorious criminal known as VIP suspected to be one of the mastermind of the killing of 5 Battalion Soldiers around East West road.

The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their dexterity and encourages them to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of pirates/militants in the Niger Delta region of the country.


#Newsworthy…

Bayelsa LGA chairman kidnap victim regains freedom

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The 80-year-old father of the Chairman of Sagbama Local Government Area in Bayelsa State has regained his freedom.

Noble Reporters Media learnt Pa. Napoleon Alale was released in the early hours of Tuesday at Otuokpoti, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.

Confirming the development, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mike Okolo said the release was a result of efforts made by the police to restructure the security strategy of the Command and to reduce crime to the barest minimum in the state.

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Although security operatives arrested one Commander Mummy Reuben alleged to be the mastermind of the kidnap, efforts are ongoing to track down the other fleeing suspects.

According to the police authorities, the suspect confessed to have conspired with others to carry out the abduction.

The victim was kidnapped on May 8 at Agbere Community, in the Sagbama area of the state.


#Newsworthy…

Bayelsa police arrest 3 robbers, recover weapons

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The police authorities in Bayelsa State have arrested three suspected armed robbers in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.

The spokesman of the State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, confirmed this in a statement issued on Monday.

“The synergy between the Police and Vigilante groups in Bayelsa State Command has paid off with the arrest of suspected armed robbers and recovery of the firearm.

“On 2 August 2020, at about 0100hours, Police operatives in collaboration with the Vigilante members of Ogbia Town, Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, arrested three suspected armed robbers, namely; Michael Isaiah 24 years, Victor Lambert 19 years and Prince Sam 18 years,” he said.

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According to the police authorities, the suspects were apprehended at Oloibiri Junction, Ogbia Town area of the state.

Recovered from them are one locally made single barrel gun, one machete, one Qlink Motorcycle, two wristwatches, and three phones.

NRM gathered that the suspects were planning to carry out an operation before they were arrested by the police.

Reacting to the arrest, the Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, warned criminals in the state to turn a new leaf, relocate out of the state or face the consequences.


#Newsworthy…

Bayelsa govt reduces 2020 budget to N183bn

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The Bayelsa Governor, Douye Diri, has cut the state’s 2020 budget by 24 percent.

The bill, which was N242bn, has been cut to N183bn.

Governor Diri said that the decision was reached following a drop in monthly revenue occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking at a Public Forum to review the 2020 Consolidation for Prosperity Budget in Yenagoa.

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He said the anticipated projections of the initial budget had to be re-evaluated to reflect the current realities of the global economic downturn occasioned by the devastating impact of the COVID-19 challenge.

He also noted that the sharp drop in the international price of crude oil from $55 per barrel benchmark to $20 crippled the country’s economy that is largely dependent on proceeds from oil.

According to the governor, all the parameters used in the previous budget, which was presented to the state assembly on April 22, had been overtaken by the effects of the health crisis.

“The 2020 Consolidation for Prosperity Budget was passed with certain assumptions that have been negatively altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The effect of the global lockdown has resulted in low demand for crude oil, which is Nigeria’s major earner. The price of oil dropped to as low as $20 per barrel in some months as against the $55 per barrel benchmark.

“Consequently, there is need to revise the budget to face the existing realities. The proposed budget size is now N183.16billion as against N242.19billion that was in the original budget”, Governor Diri added.

Reacting to questions, the governor stressed that given his administration’s priority on workers’ welfare, the slashing of the budget would not affect civil servants’ salaries.

“From the revised budget figure, you can see that nothing affected the personnel cost and salaries. There is no intention to reduce workers salaries. We should even be thinking of increasing the salaries once our resources improve”, he further added.


#Newsworthy…

Bayelsa’20: Court disengage Alaibe’s appeal over Duoye’s candidacy

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The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by a former aspirant of the Bayelsa governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Timi Alaibe, challenging the candidacy of Duoye Diri in the November 2019 election.

Alaibe who had earlier lost a similar suit at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal is claiming that he is the authentic candidate of the PDP.

But the court dismissed the case on Tuesday, on the ground that it was a pre-election matter.

Governor Duoye Diri was sworn in on February 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

Lyon’s election was nullified for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

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A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, thereafter, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to withdraw the Certificate of Return that had been issued to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

The court then ordered INEC to issue a fresh Certificate-of-Return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which was the PDP.

Diri was then sworn-in along with his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.


#Newsworthy…

Bayelsa yet to begin palliative distributions. [Nigeria]


Bayelsa Government is yet to commence the distribution of donations from corporate bodies and individuals, to cushion the effect of the stay-at-home directive imposed to check the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Zedekiah Isu, Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, in Yenagoa on Thursday, said that the government was working on how to ensure judicious disbursement.

Isu said the agency had earlier distributed food items meant for the 2019 flood victims, which was initially kept at its warehouse, following the approval of Gov. Douye Diri two weeks ago.

According to him, the Bayelsa Government has approved the procurement of more food items to assist the needy to cope with the restrictions imposed to check the spread of the coronavirus.

It would be recalled that the disbursement which was done at the local government levels was characterised by reports of diversion of 200 bags of garri.

But Isu, who denied the reports, said that officials of the agency had no case to answer, as they were overpowered by hoodlums who forcefully carted away the food items after overwhelming the security personnel deployed to the area.

He said that the state had reinforced security around the stores where the palliatives were kept to forestall attack by hoodlums.

The state received cash and material donations from organisations such as the United Bank for Africa, that donated N28.5 million and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, that donated 300 bags of rice.

Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board supported the state with two truckloads of food items, as well as two ambulances and medical supplies, while 7Up Bottling Company donated a truckload of water and soft drinks.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Ben Murray-Bruce mourn death of former Bayelsa’s governorship aspirant.


Former Senator representing Bayelsa East Senatorial district, Ben Murray-Bruce has taken to his Twitter account to pay tribute to former Bayelsa Governorship apsirant, Keniebi Okoko.

The billionaire politician died while reportedly undergoing a liposuction surgery in Lagos on April 14. It was gathered that he died in the theater room in Lagos because of power outage, as the back up generator refused to come up.

Ben Murray-Bruce who confirmed the death of the deceased on Twitter, described him as a “star”. He also sent out condolences to all the loved ones Keniebi left behind.

He wrote,
I am saddened by the news of the death of my friend and brother, Keniebi Okoko. The Ijaw Nation and indeed Nigeria has lost a star. My condolences to all the loved ones my friend, Keniebi, left behind. May his soul rest in peace.


#Newsworthy…