In the heat of the tension making the rounds in the state about a directive issued to the Caretaker Chairmen of the 8 LGAs in the state to drop LGA workers employed from 2004, the immediate past Caretaker Chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government and a Governorship aspirant in the state Hon. Joshua Maciver has come out to advice the Caretaker Chairmen to be careful else they’ll create a bad image for themselves in trying to follow orders from the state government. Hon. Joshua Maciver who made the advice known through a press statement issued on Monday 4th November, 2017 said, he also made the same mistake and still regretting that singular action. Hon. Joshua went on to say that though Caretaker Chairmen don’t have such authority of theirs but any decision they are directed to take has adverse effect on them either positively or negatively. He said “I was trying to follow orders and in doing so, it caused serious disaffection among those affected and their families”. He further said “I’ll not want the same stigma to follow these set of Caretaker Chairmen”. In his statement, he reiterated that Bayelsa State for now is not an industrial hub for business therefore 95% of Bayelsans depend on government either directly or indirectly therefore any decision to drop workers always leave grave consequences on the populace. He enjoined all Bayelsans to rally round a candidate that will put the interest of the people first in the forthcoming Governorship Election in 2019. He said if Elected, he’ll put Bayelsans first as according to him, the welfare of the people is more paramount than any form of infrastructural development.
Hon. Bello Bina, the immediate past Chairman of the Brass Local Government Council Area of Bayelsa State has lashed out at the Former Militant Leader, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Chief Edwin Clarke and some traditional Rulers from the Niger Delta region over their recent comments on the Biafra agitation and the 16 points agenda put before the Federal Government on the development of the region.
According to Bello Bina, though the Niger Delta region and the Ijaw Nation has lost confidence in the ability of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to implement the 16 points presented, the comments of the likes of Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Chief Edwin Clarke and others have shown that the Ijaw nation lack direction and quality leadership.
While Bello Bina described Asari Dokubo as “standing alone” on his false claim that Niger Delta people are supporting the Nnamdi Kanu led Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) on the secession agitation against the Federal Government. He disowned Chief Edwin Clarke over his Ijaw National Leader status for his alleged “double speak” and ” poor leadership” posture on the issues presented before the Federal Government by the Pan African Elders forum (PANDEF) and open support to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who has failed to impact positively on the region.
Hon. Bello Bina, who is also a Bayelsa PDP Chieftain and Chief Executive Officer of the B-Multi group, in a statement issued in Yenagoa via email, accused Chief E.K Clark, Asari Dokubo and some traditional rulers of trading with the problems confronting the Ijaw nation and Niger Delta by ascribing to themselves leadership positions that are not endorsed by the people of the region.
According to him, ” Am speaking with pain over the Niger Delta issue and how people used the pain of the region to trade. I see Asari Dokubo on facebook jumping up and down with false claim that the Ijaw nation belong to Biafra. I want to make it clear, Niger Delta is not with Biafra. If Asari Dokubo and his family are with Biafra, they are on their own. The Biafra people are of the Ibo states.”
“If Asari Dokubo love the Ijaw nation, Niger Delta and Nigeria, why did he put all his investment and his so called University in Benin Republic? He also claim to be Biafra and he deployed all his investments abroad.
I want to repeat that nobody should fear because we are not part of the Biafra story. I am not against Biafra people or their agitations, but I insist that Niger Delta is not part of Biafra.”
Bello Bina noted that despite the failed efforts by a few to associate Biafra with the Niger Delta people on facebook, the Ijaw people are faced with their own peculiar problems and not bothered about issue of Biafra.
He also pointed out that the attempts to draw the region into the Biafra agitations was based on the outcome of the struggle by the likes of the Foremost Former Militant Leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo, ” now many people tag them to be criminals but these are the Niger Delta agitators that made the region become the beautiful bride for the IPOB agitation.
The Niger Delta people can not join any agitation because we are rich enough to create a country if we desire.”
On the alleged treachery by Chief E.K.Clarke against the Niger Delta people, Hon. Bello Bina insisted that though he respect elders in the region, the claim by Chief Clark that he is the National leader of Ijaw nation is questionable and is self imposed,
” Some people will be claiming to be leaders of the region. Before you claim to be a leader, what are the benefits the people of the region have enjoyed from you?” “During Former President Obasanjo, Chief E.K Clarke existed and it is the same stock in trade.
The Likes of Late Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro and Chief D.S. P Alameiseigha are true leaders of Ijaw people. Theu were oppressed and died for the people of the region. The 13 per cent derivation increase was part of Alameiseigha legacy of resource control.
But E.K Clarke followed Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and after GEJ tenure,diswoned him. He claimed to have left politics but he is back offering to settle Niger Delta issue.” ” Is he a Leader of Niger Delta people? Who made him a Leader? Let him show what he has brought to the region as a leader? Has he drilled a bore hole or pay WAEC for any indigent Ijaw student or community? Has he offered assistance to any political leader without monetray agains? Before you claim to be a leader, your people will push you forward as one.
These are leaders that collect money to betray the region.” “Those are not the leaders Ijaw people are looking for.
The Ijaw nation is not looking for people that talk cheaply. They are looking for a focussed peaceful and committed leaders. ”
he also noted that some Traditional Rulers have abandoned their royal stool and joined the foray of political jobbers in search for cheap monies along the corridors of power in Abuja,” these are men that ha dumped their traditional stools and are now seen in Abuja. Those who relocated to Abuja because of money shall never know peace.”
“Kings are meant to sit at their domain and oversee the affairs of their people and be highly revered and respected. They are not be seen walking from one office to another..
Am so ashamed that those traditional leaders, who are supposed to bring Ijaw people together, are now telling lies to curry favour in Abuja.
Tommorrow, one Senator will call them a child birthday party and theu put on their royal beed and set at the front smiling. What is wrong if the Senator or President visit you in your domain” “And those are the traditional leaders we call our leaders.
Can’t they learn from the Oni of Ife or the Oba of Benin? These are true leaders and their people can die for them. Why can’t the Niger Delta leaders be coordinated.? You call yourself a King and because of money, you betray your Ijaw people.
And you say all is well after they gave you N5million. They can’t do that to the Oni of Ife or the Oba of Benin.” “These revered Obas sit in their palace and politicians come to them and ask for solutions. Our kings have lost their respect. Our kings have no leadership qualities and they tell lies because of money.
They should stop it, it is painful. They should revert to being a good leader and learb to bear hardship in a royal way. God knows why he created the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta.”
“Our kings are deeply involve in politics. Today, Goodluck Jonathan is good.Tommorrow, Jonathan is a bad man.
Now they have started, Buhari is a good man. And tommorrow, what will they say?”
Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, speaks on burning issues in his state as well as those on the national scene in this interview with select newsmen across the country. Osaro Akindele Okhomina was there.
How has the six years of your administration been in Bayelsa?
Let me use this opportunity to welcome you all home. We say all good people are from Bayelsa State. Let me thank you for the efforts you have been making in the past few days; going around our state to have a real feel of the developments on ground. You saw and felt the silent revolution that has been going on in Bayelsa. Now you are in a position to compare with some of the stories and propaganda and rumour and blackmail that have tended to suffuse the atmosphere everywhere.
With regards to sustainability, there is no doubt that the work I and my team have been doing for the past six years has changed the state. That was what I promised the people on the first day of inauguration because I came into this job with a clear idea of what I wanted to do. I had made up my mind on these issues. I knew the challenges and I had my blue print right from when I was campaigning. I knew that education, health care, infrastructure development, expanding agriculture, promoting industrialisation and investing in peace, law and order and security will all be a priority and I laid all these out in my inaugural address. There is nothing I have done that is not contained in my inaugural speech. In any case, I am a politician of conviction so everything I had in mind to do is what I am doing.
But what happens when you are no longer in office?
I have more than two years left to do more and further consolidate on what we have started. We have also introduced a number of policies and legislations, for example, in the education and health care sectors. After building the schools and the hospitals, I have come up with the compulsory health insurance scheme in this state, created by law and a fund into which deductions from civil servants and others who subscribe to it are paid. The state government also supports it by putting up to five per cent of the state monthly internally generated revenue, IGR. With a board of very competent professionals, managing that fund and with the hospitals built and equipped and the law backing it, this is sustainable.
In education, we have built schools in every local government. There are 13 model compulsory boarding schools spread across the state, plus 25 constituency secondary schools which are equipped. We have selected good students and put them there. We spend almost N120,000,000 every month feeding these students. This is besides the fully equipped laboratories and library, the classrooms; the money used in buying books, provision of uniforms. After doing all of these, we have created the educational development trust fund by law and I have also appointed a board with Prof. Isoun to serve as chairman. With the law and the funding mechanism that I have put in place, I believe that to a large extent if these institutions are supported (and the good thing is that I still have over two years to nurture them), there is no fear as to sustainability. I, of course, want more support and encouragement. Already, I have formally announced the Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka as the Honorary Educational Ambassador to the state. He has graciously offered to help me and my government and the state in this big, robust, ambitious educational intervention. He has given me the permission to go on with that and we are pleased to have him on board. I will make more of such appeals so that I can tell the Bayelsa story beyond the shores of Bayelsa. We have international organizations that can help us, the corporate players that have been drilling oil for 61 years here who do not even pay tax here or have offices here. They need to support this endeavor because they are all beneficiaries of the effect of this intervention because with the 5,000 to 10,000 graduates trained in this specially equipped schools, it means that we have fewer militants or disgruntled elements to deal with and that is why we are making all of these investments and I believe that these programmes are largely sustainable. I always say nothing human is perfect or absolute but largely with the measures we have taken, the policies would be sustained.
The enormity of projects and policies you put in place are unprecedented and one gets worried about their execution in the face of dwindling revenue?
With regards to the Brass LNG, the Brass Fertilizer, and all the big tickets investment that have not really taken off in this state, we are very sad that that is the case and you are right because if those projects had taken off, the IGR base of the state would largely have been expanded and today we would have had more money by way of IGR to put into these investments. But having said that, we are working with the partners concerned and in the next couple of weeks I would be handing over formally the certificate of occupancy of the Brass Fertilizer to the company. Our teams are working, I am also in regular touch with the Brass LNG group and we are working to see how we can provide support. I have been making the case that it is unfortunate, in fact, one of the greatest misfortunes that befell this state in recent couple of years has been the inability to conclude this key investment initiative. But we are almost concluding Brass fertilizer aspect. The state had to take an equity of 10 per cent to fast track it and to create confidence. We are also talking to the investors in LNG. Unfortunately even though the money was there for a number of years, there wasn’t sufficient will and attention so the investors have more or less diverted and gone to Mozambique and some other countries but there is a renewed zeal, especially driven by us in this state. We are creating industrial areas, power hubs, just to enable us attract industries, manufacturers and corporate players to our state so that the IGR base can go up. I do not know if you found time to visit the airport, it is almost completed. The whole idea is not for luxury, but for cargo, for business men to use it as a hub so that the IGR base can go up. Right now, Bayelsa is cut off from the rest of the world. No sea port, no airport. So even when the revenue is going down, because of the enormity of the challenges, I am here to address challenges. So we are not scared of challenges. When I started all these projects, about five years back, everybody was saying “he is doing too much”. They never said I am not doing enough. What is helping us is focus and prudence and that is why with this investment, little by little a lot of projects are being completed.
What is your take on all manners of agitations that can lead to a breakup of the country?
Well for me, having a large nation like Nigeria is an advantage. Large population in size and enormous resources that are really embedded in each and every state in this country. Look at the farming belt, everywhere is green. So between one state and another you can actually have massive mechanized farms. This country has no reason to be poor. It is a blessed country. I am not even talking about what is under the soil, and our rich human resource base and I have always made this case even to my people in spite of the anger, the sense of marginalization that they justly feel. I have continued to make a case, as I do to our youths, that there is an advantage in staying in a large and diverse family. Quite frankly, the greatness of Nigeria does not only derive from oil and mineral resources. The greatness of our country is a combination of all of it including its diversity and complexity. But we must create a stable and fair country. Nigeria must be founded on fairness and justice and equity. We must build a nation of compassion and a nation of love and truth, not a nation of oppression or deceit. Right now the foundation of this country is fraudulent and we should not run away from saying it as it is. Really it does not do anybody any good to perpetuate this unworkable structure.
Therefore, those of us who are in support of restructuring are making the case for a sustainable and stable and fair Nigeria that can endure for the next 400 years and going forward. Few years from now, we will be one of the most populous countries in the world and only God knows what is possible if only we can have a stable Nigeria where citizens are not at each other’s throat for the right or wrong reasons. In this state or region, anybody who says that the existence of Nigeria is not negotiable is not telling you the truth. But as I keep saying, the existence of a big and strong diverse nation called Nigeria is desirable. But like anything human, its terms and conditions cannot be absolute and cannot be perfect. Therefore, nation building is a work in progress and so we must continually examine the basis upon which we are going to have this big beautiful nation but with a mindset to making it more perfect.
I want fairness for everybody; for my people and myself. I do not see why this state will have eight local government areas when it takes me three days to go round a local government area and you make the number of local governments a basis for distributing the wealth that I produce; you take away the resources by legislations using military decrees to which our people never made input.
What is your reaction to the Supreme Court judgment on the PDP crisis?
First of all it is unfortunate that the dispute lasted for as long as it did. Secondly, it is also unfortunate that it had to take a judicial intervention, which is the decision of the Supreme Court for us to know who our chairman and other officers of our party are. Again I consider that as a failure of politics; not really blaming one side or the other. It’s not just about PDP but the other parties. To that extent, it is very sad. Now the Supreme Court has decided. One of the reasons I did not think the judicial option was the best is that after judicial interventions- judges do not reconcile they adjudicate – you are back to square one, back to the court of reconciliation. I have read the statement of Sen. Makarfi. He is a very stable man and I agree with that approach, that we have to go back to reconciliation. That is where I have always stood. Reconciliation is key not litigation. Now we have to come back to square one to promote internal reconciliation and then to move for a convention which was what I proposed we should have done. So we are still back to holding an acceptable unity convention. So good luck to our party. I will join hands with other leaders of our party to ensure that this key objective is achieved, that is, reconciliation of the party with a view to having all-inclusive unity, an acceptable convention
IPOB: "Kanu's Insult to Jonathan,a failed attempt to blackmail Niger Delta"–Ex-Bayelsa Council Chairman
..ask FG to stop alleged persecution of ex-NIMASA boss, others
Hon. Bello Bina, the immediate past Chairman of Brass Local Government Council Area of Bayelsa State, has described as "a failed blackmail" the recent criticism of the Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan by the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.had recently blasted ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and blamed him for the problems Nigeria is facing.
According to Nnamdi in the Interview Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was a weak leader, and he wished it was his wife Patience Jonathan who was in charge of the country.
According to Hon. Bello Bina, though the attempts by the IPOB and it's leadership to hoodwink many geographical region into the ongoing agitation, the insult on some prominent indigenes of Niger Delta is disrespectful and a clear attempt to blackmail the prople of the region to support acts of seccession and national Unity.
According to Bina, "We, the people of the Niger Delta and particularly, Bayelsa State are aware of the failed attempts by the IPOB leadership to draw the people of the region into the controversy and agitation against the Nigerian Nation. We want Kanu and many of his followers to stop the insults and castigation against our leaders particularly Dr. Goodluck Jonathan."
"We are calling on the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu to show maximum respect to the Niger Delta Leaders and not display his lack of culture and respect in the public. The refusal of the Niger Delta people to join those supporting the agitation is not the making of anyone. We are the Niger Delta people not part of the Igbos."
" On the alleged display of weakness and complicity in the Nation's woe as disrespectfully attributed to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. The six years of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was among the best for the people of the South East region with various federal government presence made available to the people. Jonathan ran an all inclusive government which touched all parts of the country."
"Nnamdi Kanu should tender to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the people of the Niger Deltanan unreserved apology for the irresponsible statements made on the six years administration of Dr. Jonathan. We are given him 30 days to withdraw the statement and tender an apology."
On the decision of the Federal Government to sustain the prosecution some aides to the Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan including the Former NIMASA Director- General, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
Hon. Bello Bina, who is also a Peace advocate, called on the Federal Government to take a second look at the cases against the prominent sons and daughters of the Niger Delta and find a way to resolve the cases out of Court, " these Niger Delta sons and daughter are useful and vital to the issue of sustained peace in the region."
It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC had declared wanted the foremost Ex-Militant in the region,High Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo and re-arraigned former Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi and five others on a fresh 22-counts N2.6 billion theft charged before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
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