Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State says leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are trying to use the image of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to give legitimacy to the “fraud” which transpired on Saturday.
Dickson’s statement comes on the heels of the victory of David Lyon, candidate of the APC in the Bayelsa governorship election.
After Mr. Lyon’s visit, APC leaders visited the former President Jonathan at his Bayelsa residence, a visit which raised eyebrows in different quarters and sent tongues wagging across the nation, with many suggesting that the former president was working with the APC.
In reaction to the claims, Governor Dickson said the former president has the right and liberty to receive dignitaries when they come into the Bayelsa.
“Former President Jonathan who is a former leader of our country remains a leader of our country and is at liberty to receive dignitaries when they come into state”.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Dickson said it is unfair for people to attempt using such “blackmail” stories to reflect the true state of affairs in Bayelsa.
As regards the election, Dickson said what took place in Bayelsa on the 16th and 17th was not a democratic election.
According to Dickson: “It was a military coup against our democracy.
“It was the height of conspiracy by the Federal Government and security agents and with the umpire, INEC colluding and enabling in most cases the subversion of the democratic rights of our people for the sole purpose of achieving a pre-determined conclusion”.
”Most of the electoral officials in Southern Ijaw, as we speak, are kidnapped and held hostage.”
Governor Dickson said it is very sad that no election was held in Southern Ijaw.
He accused the opposition party of being desperate to seize power in Bayelsa, stating that if the people are allowed to freely vote, then they will vote for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
“This election, allow the people to vote. Anywhere the people of Bayelsa have an opportunity to vote, they will vote for our party. They will vote for the candidate of our party. The APC knows that and that is why the desperation is so high,” Dickson said.
Speaking on the way forward, Governor Dickson asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel elections in all areas where electoral materials were hijacked by suspected political thugs.
He also called on President Buhari to act and ensure that security operatives work in the best interest of the Bayelsa people.
“Way forward, I call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, even though he has decided to look the other way since 2015.
”The President has to wake to do something. This is not a democracy. The observers are here and they know what is going on.
”I call on the President to call the security forces to order. I call on the IG of Police to do his duty to protect the people of Bayelsa State.”
Governor Dickson warned that if the security situation is not put to check, then the people might be forced to defend themselves.
Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson has offered employment to the wives of two Bayelsa-born pilots who were killed earlier this year in a helicopter crash, during combat with Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.
The governor, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Sorowei, made the pronouncement during his visit to one of the widows, Mrs Diepreye Inokoba Jacob, on Monday.
Governor Dickson also offered employment to the wife of the second pilot, Lieutenant Owei, who died in 2016, when the Commander 115 Special Operations Group, Port Harcourt, Air Commodore E Ebiowei, drew his attention to it.
The governor said the automatic employment was the state government’s modest way of encouraging and rallying support for the relatives left behind by the indigenes of the state who got killed in active service to their fatherland.
He described the late pilots as heroes whose services were a source of pride to the Ijaw nation.
“We are very proud of the services and the sacrifices that our departed young heroes made. We hereby announce automatic employment for the wife.
“We hear you are doing your National Youth Service, you will get your letter of employment as soon as you complete your compulsory service to the nation.
“The Base Commander has told us that another officer, flight Lieutenant Owei also died while fighting in the North East. I hereby announce immediate employment for his widow.
“This is our modest way of encouraging our people in the service of this nation. Our people, from the beginning, have stood for Nigeria. We have been doing that and we are not going to get tired to demand that Nigeria does what is right for us too,” he said.
The governor had earlier paid a condolence visit to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on January 11, 2019, to condole with the NAF on the death of the pilot.
During the visit, Dickson called on leaders and Nigerians to support the Armed Forces in the ongoing campaign against the Boko Haram in the North East.
The Governor was accompanied in the visit to the widow by a former Member, Armed Forces Ruling Council, AVM Larry Koinyan, (Retd), Former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Timi Alaibe, Former Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mike Zuokumor, and others.
In his reaction, the spokesman for the family, Mr Oloice Kemenanabo, described the late pilot as among the best in the country before the sad occurrence.
He thanked the governor for the visit which he said brought so much succour to the grieving family.
Two pilots of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and three other personnel aboard a military helicopter were killed earlier in a helicopter crash at Damasak, on January 2, 2019.
They were later buried on Tuesday, January 8.
Speaking during the burial ceremony, which had in attendance the Honourable Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the five gallant heroes lost their lives in the pursuit of the peace which we often take for granted.
Photos from the burial ceremony of the slained NAF officers…
Bayelsa State has emerged the overall champion of the second edition of the Governor Seriake Dickson National Wrestling Classics.
Wrestlers competed in 30 weight classes in Greco Roman and freestyle at the three-day event which took place at the indoor sports hall of the Samson Siasia sports complex in Yenegoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Winners in the various weight categories will represent Nigeria at the African championship scheduled to hold later in the year in Marrakesh, Morocco.
In a bid to stem the tide of crime and criminality in the Niger Delta region, the Nigerian Army says it is planting more military brigades across the country.
Speaking during the commissioning of a temporary accommodation for the newly created 16 Brigade in Yenagoa, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, said the army is poised to tackle insecurity within the Niger Delta region.
General Buratai highlighted the reasons behind the setting up of the new brigade while appreciating Governor Seriake Dickson for support given to the Army in Bayelsa State.
In his response, Governor Dickson lauded the temporary office of the 16 Brigade and described it as the best in the federation.
He, however, appealed for more support from the Army authorities to the newly established brigade.
In his address, the Commander of the Brigade, Brigadier General Kelvin Aligbe, outlined the achievements they have made in the absence of a temporary site.
Pleased by the accolades received, the commander and officers of the 16 Brigade stated their commitment to protecting the citizens, waterways and national assets in Bayelsa State.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has urged Ijaw youth leaders in the Niger Delta to close ranks and promote the peace and unity of the Ijaw nation everywhere.
Gov. Dickson, who spoke when he met with Ijaw leaders across the Niger Delta, who paid him a solidarity visit, says development could only thrive in an atmosphere of peace.
The governor expressed serious concerns over issues of power tussle and internal wrangling for positions in the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) stressing that, he does not endorse factions for elective positions within the Ijaw ethnic nationality.
While commending the leaders for their solidarity and support, during and after the last gubernatorial election in the state, he noted that, as patriotic Ijaws who came out in defence of the common interest of the Ijaw people, when it was needed.
“You gave me your support when it was most needed for the sake of the Ijaw nation, to defend it at a very critical period”, Dickson said.
However, on the reports that he had ceded a portion of land to herdsmen for grazing, Dickson described the rumour as the handiwork of his detractors, who he said are afraid of his rising profile and trying to incite Bayelsans against him and the herdsmen.
“I will not allow herdsmen to have clashes with our farmers in the state, and that is why the government has taken a proactive step to provide a grazing area, the Bayelsa palm to forestall insecurity.
“Some people are inciting Bayelsans to violence against herdsmen and fellow Bayelsans.
“After now, the government will arrest any herdsmen found with cattle in our communities.
“The action of government is in the best interest of Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation”. He said.
In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Mr. Austin Dressman commended the leaders for their solidarity visit, noting that, Governor Dickson’s love for the Ijaw nation was unflinching.
He however, urged other Niger Delta governors to emulate the government in Bayelsa.
The Bayelsa State Government has expressed concern and displeasure with oil firms for flouting court orders on oil spill cases in the state.
The government decried the alleged ‘blatant disregard for court rulings’ and called on oil firms operating in the state to embrace the rule of law.
The appeal was made by the Special Adviser to Governor Seriake Dickson on Oil and Gas, Mr Felix Ayah, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
“Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has reneged its corporate social responsibilities to maintain peace in its operations, negating the state government’s effort to strengthen the existing peace for smooth operations by (the) oil firms.
“After going through the outcome of the court’s verdict at my disposal authenticating Anyamawari family as certified owners of the land, it is incumbent on SPDC to recognise and treat them as such,” said Mr Ayah who mediated in a peace meeting between Onyoma community in Southern Ijaw and the SPDC.
He advised the Anyamawari family to channel all relevant documents to appropriate quarters of the company for prompt action and payments of all outstanding obligations without further delay.
An official of the SPDC, who said that the oil firm had laid down procedures in resolving issues with communities where it operates, urged the community to follow the same process.
The Bayelsa Government had in January 2016 sued the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, seeking 1.6 trillion naira damages for pollution caused by an oil spill in Brass area of the state in November 2013.
Bayelsa State Government has debunked the reports that bought official cars for political appointees in the state.
The government stated that there was no truth whatsoever in the reports and called on the public to disregard the claims.
The declaration was made in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seriake Dickson, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson.
The statement revealed that the purchase of the said vehicles only covered the state-owned security outfit ‘Operation Doo Akpo’, in order to rejuvenate and boost its functions and improve security in Bayelsa State, especially within Yenagoa and its environs.
Mr Iworiso-Markson said that the payment for the vehicles, which was spread over a long period of time, would be deducted monthly from the beneficiaries, as against the widely spread notion that the government dished out three billion naira to buy official cars for Assembly members and political appointees.
No Arrangement To Buy New Cars
“The Government is not in a good financial standing to buy cars for the use of its functionaries.
“Even the State Governor has remained with the same set of vehicles that were procured in 2012/13 and no arrangement has been made to buy new cars, in view of the state of the finances of the government”, he said.
The governor’s spokesman, however, explained that “as lawmakers and like their counterparts at the Federal level and other states, they need cars to function and perform their duties as representatives of the people”, stressing that “it has always been the practice and not new to Bayelsa”.
The statement restated Governor Dickson’s commitment to running a transparent system, adding that the welfare of workers and the citizenry remains topmost priority.
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, says his administration is committed to professionalising the state’s public service.
Governor Dickson noted that his government would enshrine the tenets of utmost professionalism and dedication to the ideals of the Public Service Rule in the workforce of the state.
He made the remark at the inauguration of the Bayelsa State Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr Thomas Zidafamor, whose predecessor, Dr. Peter Singabele, had retired from the workforce.
The Governor said that his administration has recorded a number of feats in depoliticising the civil service of the state, as well as protecting a culture which promotes a clear change of baton in the leadership of the civil service.
He tasked Mr Zidafamor to create policies that would lead to an efficient and depoliticised workforce in the south-south Nigerian state.
Governor Dickson reiterated that his administration’s drive for professionalism would not be compromised.
He also assured the people of Bayelsa State of his commitment to the prompt payment of the full salaries of every civil servant in the state.
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has set up a Special Education Safety Corps, ahead of the compulsory boarding scheme of the government, which is expected to commence from February.
The governor, who announced the formation of the corps while handing over four refurbished Armoured Personnel Carrier vehicles to the Bayelsa State Command of the Nigerian Police Force in Government House, Yenagoa, said their task would be to provide security for all public schools in the state, with the support of the law enforcement agencies.
According to him, members of the corps will be saddled with the responsibility of providing guard and surveillance security for the government owned schools, facilities and students.
Dickson said: “If we are going to keep young people; about 500 to 1,000, then it is important we start planning and thinking of how to protect them and the facilities provided, which we have started installing all across the state.
The governor explained further that, the proactive measure was taken to avoid what happened in other places, stressing that, as a caring government, the safety of the pupils in its various schools had to be given proper attention.
He added that, members of the corps would be giving proper orientation by security agencies, in order to properly guide them in their line of duty and ensure that, they had a seamless operation.
The Education Safety Corp is headed by Captain Aleibiri Mezeh.
The Bayelsa State Government has announced a number of stern measures, including outright dismissal of any of its workers who would be found culpable of absenteeism, truancy, payroll fraud and other sharp practices that are inimical to the public service rules.
While issuing the stern measure, the government said it had made efforts to enhance the productivity and welfare of the workers.
The government has approved the reinstatement of monthly imprest, otherwise known as overhead cost to enable all Ministries Department and Agencies and parastatals cater for some of their basic needs.
Spelling out the various sanctions while briefing reporters shortly after an interactive meeting between Governor Seriake Dickson and members of the State Executive Council, heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Yenagoa, the Secretary to State Government, Mr Serena Dokubo-Spiff, reiterated the present administration’s commitment to bequeathing a robust and result-oriented civil service.
Mr Dokubo-Spiff, who briefed the press alongside the state Information Commissioner, Mr Jonathan Obuebite and Chief of Staff, Government House, Mr Talford Ongolo, said “a full-proof system has already been put in place to identify and weed out unrepentant absentee workers, stressing that, the days where public servants stay at home to receive salaries were over”.
He pointed out that, though, the move was not aimed at witch-hunting any worker, the new monitoring system requires every worker to report for duty on a daily basis and sign the attendance register already provided by the government, as failure to do so would attract severe penalties, including summary dismissal.
According to the chief scribe, Governor Dickson lamented that the lean resources accruing to the state government were being negatively impacted by its over bloated wage bill, and therefore, expressed determination to continue the ongoing fight against those he described as unpatriotic elements in the service, who are hell-bent on fleecing the state dry through the use of ghost workers and other fraudulent activities.
On his part, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Jonathan Obuebite said “the meeting we just finished also mandated government to commence implementation of full payment of all relevant taxes and levies including education levy by workers and other taxable adults as well as corporate entities to boost the revenue base of the state”.
Giving further explanation on the education levy, Honourable Obuebite stressed that its introduction did not mean a reversal of the present administration’s free education policy at the basic and post-primary school levels, but rather, it is targeted at promoting efficient delivery of quality education in the state.
Also speaking, the Chief of Staff expressed confidence in the efficacy of the current monitoring system, which he noted, would be a continuous process, as against the one-off-verification exercises of the past.
While calling for cooperation, Honourable Ongolo urged all public servants to take the state government’s warning seriously by putting up physical appearance at their various duty posts to avoid any unpleasant consequences.
He added that arrangements had been concluded for the administration to launch its new policy of “No Work, No Pay” next week.
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Friday expanded his cabinet with five new commissioners to push the state’s drive of promoting tourism and other sectors.
They have been charged to align themselves to the ideals and vision of the restoration agenda, towards delivering quality services to the people.
The Governor while swearing in the commissioners at the new Executive Council Chambers of the Government House in Yenagoa, called on the appointees to exhibit a high sense of dedication and loyalty in the discharge of their duties.
The commissioners are, Professor Ebitimitula Etebu for the Ministry of Health, Mr Austin Dressman is in charge of the Ministry of Ijaw National Affairs and Culture, Mrs Ebiere Ajuwa Musa was assigned the portfolio of Ministry of Tourism Development, Mrs Martha Jenakumo for the Ministry of Women Affairs while Mr Tamunobere Oguoh heads the Special Duties, West Senatorial district.
Describing the Commissioner for Health as a thoroughbred medical personnel, Governor Dickson said, his antecedents were exemplary and urged him to streamline all the massive investments made in the sector.
According to him, the state has put in place world class health facilities, including the diagnostic centre equipped with a forensic unit and by next year, the government will construct and equip health centres in each of the 105 wards to take healthcare delivery closer to the rural dwellers.
“We want to have the best facilities in all spheres. Very soon, we are going to be number one in agriculture, sports, education and now we want to be number one in medical tourism, with the facilities that we are going to put in place.
“We will have a situation where no Bayelsan will need to travel out to receive healthcare.
“Not only that; we want all Nigerians and people from other places to come to Bayelsa for healthcare services. Your duty will be to harmonize all of these. We have the forensic unit at the Diagnostic centre which is 90% set.
“Knowing you as a thoroughbred professional, you have been brought into government at this time to put your seal of professionalism to all these initiatives and you have on ground, a team of competent medical personnel ready to work with you. I have no doubt that the team working under your leadership, our vision of making Bayelsa number one in the area of tourism and healthcare delivery will be achieved,” he told the appointees.
Governor Dickson also charged the commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs and Culture to mobilise the Ijaw nation for a positive national development, urging him to bring his wealth of experience as an activist to bear on his new assignment.