Bayelsa Govt. Admonishes Oil Firms On Flouting Court Orders

Oil, Bayelsa, CourtThe 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.

FIDA Expresses Worry Over Defilement Of Minors In Bayelsa

FIDA, Bayelsa, MinorsWomen lawyers in Bayelsa State have expressed worry over the rising cases of defilement of minors and violence against the girl child and women in some parts of the state.

The lawyers, under the aegis of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), led by their chairperson, Dise Ogbise-Erhisere, said the available data on cases recorded in the last three weeks showed that four underage girls were defiled.

They added that two girls were also attacked with machete while a seven-year-old boy was beaten to death over alleged wizardry.

In a statement issued at the end of their monthly general meeting held in Yenagoa, the women said although FIDA stood up for the victims while arrests were made, they were shocked that some of the suspects were released by the Police and victims’ families advised to settle out of court.

“With the alarming rate of violence against children, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Bayelsa State chapter, has called on security agencies to redouble their efforts in the proper investigation and prosecution of alleged suspects.

“FIDA noted that in the last two weeks there are several reports of Violence Against Children (VAC). FIDA cites the case where two girls were given bodily injury with a machete to the point of death; they were admitted at the Okolobiri General Hospital.

“A case of defilement of a seven-year-old girl by a friendly uncle in Ayama-Ijaw in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area. Another set of four minors were defiled.

“The case was reported at the Akenfa Police Station and the perpetrator was granted bail and the parties involved were advised to settle out of court.

“Similarly in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, a seven-year-old boy was brought in dead at the Federal Medical Center after several bodily injury.

“FIDA learnt the boy was accused of witchcraft. He was beaten to death by his father and step mother,” the statement read.

Ogbise-Erhisere noted that the incidents were painful and worrisome, despite the campaigns being staged by FIDA in Bayelsa State, south-south Nigeria.

Bayelsa Governor Asks Ministries To Generate Payroll With Attendance Register

payroll of workers in BayelsaThe Bayelsa State government is taking a firm stand on its decision to implement a ‘No Work No Pay’ policy, insisting that only workers who sign attendance register will be paid. 

Making good the state government’s decision, the Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, has directed all Permanent Secretaries in the state to henceforth, generate the payroll of their respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), from workers’ duty attendance registers.

The Governor gave the directive in a closed-door meeting with permanent secretaries in Government House, Yenagoa.

To Check Payroll Fraud

At a press conference after the meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Honourable Jonathan Obuebite, described the directive as well-intentioned and targeted at achieving total compliance with the new policy to check absenteeism and payroll fraud in the State Public Service.

According to Honourable Obuebite, the meeting emphasised the need for heads of MDAS to instil discipline in their various offices to promote productivity and efficiency.

He expressed optimism on the success of the current monitoring system, pointing out that, preliminary reports indicate that workers have started complying.

The Information Commissioner urged itinerant workers and those on secondment to only sign the attendance register at the outpost where they are assigned to avoid a situation where such workers would be shuttling between their parent MDAs and places of posting.

“On the contentious issue of those who are working in ministries that have outposts, for instance, in the Information Ministry where we have information officers that are posted to different MDAS, they are going to sign their own attendance there and not in the Ministry of Information.

“But it was made clear that every worker will sign the attendance register that is provided for the particular ministry, department or agency they are working. At the end of the period, they are going to do harmonisation of registers.

“The Governor also told them that going forward, payrolls would be generated by them (permanent secretaries), as they are already doing but this time through registers which they have now so that from the attendance, they are going to generate the payroll for payment of civil servants in the state,” he told reporters.

Governor Dickson Commends Police For Bayelsa’s Low Crime Rate

Police, Kaduna, Suspected RobberThe Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, in charge of Zone Five, Abubakar Mohammed, says available records showed Bayelsa State has the lowest crime rate in the zone.

Mr Mohammed gave the update at a meeting between senior officials of the police and the Governor Seriake Dickson in Government House, Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State.

Accompanied by the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mr Amba Asuquo, the police AIG commended the state government for its invaluable support to the police in its efforts at fighting and reducing crime in the state.

Describing crime as an evolving incident, the AIG stated that, with the support of the Inspector General of Police, the zone had introduced an Extra Tactical Command to fight crime. He also called for more support and collaboration from the state government.

In his response, Governor Dickson noted with satisfaction, the sacrifices and contributions of the police to the security of the state, noting that efforts were yielding positive results.

He also announced a collaborative efforts of the government and the office of the Inspector-General of Police to build a maritime training school in the state.

According to him, when established, the school would among other things, train officers on how best to fight maritime crime, pointing out that, majority of the crimes occur in the maritime environments.

H said: “The reason is to train officers on how to fight maritime crime because most of the criminal incidents we deal with occur in the maritime domain”.

Governor Dickson pointed out that, his administration had made significant investment in the development of the security architecture and infrastructure in the state.

He further pointed out that the state government had had the opportunity of working with competent and committed officers in the state command as well as those who work in communities, which had contributed immensely in reducing the crime rate across the state.

“I would not take the credit for that alone. I want to give the credit on our achievements in the areas law and order, peace and security on peace building, to all the officers and men of the police.

“With the collaboration of all sister agencies and leaders at all levels, including the people of the state, all the stakeholders must be appreciated for their support in reducing the crime rate,” he told the meeting.

While acknowledging the fact that the state is not yet at its preferred destinatination, he said that the government under him would not rest on its oars until crimes such as kidnapping, piracy on the waterways, brigandage and lawlessness were stamped out.

While restating the vision of the state on the issues of crime and criminality, he urged law enforcement agents to tackle crime and criminals impartially, without any political colourations.

“I promise not to play politics with law and order. I want to warn politicians not play politics with crime and criminality, as that will give room for non state actors to hijack the instruments of the law and state power,” he cautioned.

Military Says Era Of Secrecy Is Over, Seeks Media Support

Rabe-AbubakarNigeria’s Defence Headquarters says the era of secrecy in the military is over.

The spokesman of the  Defence Headquarters, Rabe Abubakar, made the statement on Friday in Bayelsa.

He disclosed this at an interactive session with journalists at the Earnest Ikoli Press Centre, Yenagoa, the capital city, when he visited the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the State.

The defence spokesman said the openness of the military informed his tour of media houses and interaction with relevant stakeholders in the six geo-political zones.

“From north-east, I moved to the north-west, where I interacted with all the media houses there.

“Now I am in the Niger Delta to have a chat with the media executives and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.

“There is a policy shift in the military now; the days of secrecy are over.

“In view of this, we decided to extend a hand of fellowship to stakeholders, especially the media,” he told reporters.

Abubakar, sought the partnership and collaboration of journalists in the Niger Delta area to enable the military succeed in its operations in the region.

He emphasised the need for the military to be supported to enable it carry out its mandate of protecting the lives, property of citizens and critical national assets across the country.

“We need ourselves for this great country to move forward,” he said.

“We have the responsibility to protect the lives of innocent citizens. It is only then that we can move the country away from crisis.

“Our duty as military is to ensure total peace not only in the Niger Delta, but in all areas where we have operations,” he stressed.

Maintaining that the armed forces had taken over Sambisa forest, a haven for Boko Haram insurgents, he called on the media to lead a campaign that would produce lasting peace in Nigeria.

The Chairman of NUJ, Bayelsa council, John Angese, praised the armed forces for their sacrifices aimed at ensuring that Nigeria remained a united country.

Police Launch ‘Change Begins With Me’ In Bayelsa State

Nigeria_Police_Armoured_Personnel_CarrierThe Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mr Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, has formally started the ‘Change Begins With Me Campaign’ an initiative of the Federal Government in Bayelsa State.

The Commissioner while kickstarting the campaign asked officers and men of the state police command to be forthright in their duties and embrace change.

Ogunjemilusi, also took the Change Begins With Me Campaign to the major motor parks, markets and other public places in Yenagoa, saying that the Inspector General of Police had earlier launched the campaign in Abuja with a charge to state command and divisions to do same.

He noted that “this campaign is not just a slogan but a new culture aimed at repositioning the police to achieve greater heights by dedicating the Force to the values of professional excellence, hard work and civility to members of the public”.

He urged officers and men of the command to shun all acts of criminalities and corruption in the course of carrying out their duties.

At Ekeki Motor Park in Yenagoa, the Commissioner of Police admonished motorists and food vendors to also embrace the change by making sure that their particulars were up to date and that they do not unnecessarily hike the prices of food just because of the festive period. He urged everyone present not to ever give bribes to policemen.

He told Channels Television that “for us in the Nigeria Police Force, we believe that we are everywhere and we believe that we can reach the larger population. So, today we are here to sensitise the motorists that we are all here to change on our part. We don’t need to ask anybody for bribes.

“I have also told them that if a police officer asked for bribe, they should not give and if the officers try to give them problems, they should call our numbers and the complaints will be looked into immediately.

“I also told them that change begins with them also by having their correct particulars, not overspeeding and by respecting the rights of their passengers”.

The officers and men of the force who also partook in the sensitisation brandished placards emblazoned with; ‘Bail is free’, ‘Say no to corruption’, ‘Policing with integrity’, ‘Police is your friend’, ‘Report any suspicion to the police’, among others.

Expert Recommends Study Into Alleged Air Pollution In Tombia

PollutionAn environment expert, Mr Morris Alagoa, has called for the conduct of studies to measure the adverse impact of a gas plant located in Gbarantoru.

The environmentalist made the call on Thursday at Tombia town, shortly after an assessment tour of the area in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, south-south Nigeria.

Residents of the area have been complaining of air pollution, allegedly emanating from the oil and gas facilities located near the community.

Mr Alagoa, who was reacting to the claim which was said to have resulted into breathing discomforts by residents, called for scientific studies to trace the source of the pollution.

He urged the oil and gas industry regulators to monitor and ensure that the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) were carried out and complied with.

According to Morris, the EIA Act required periodic studies to determine the adverse environmental implications of the project and ascertain when the indices were out of tolerable limits.

“Who monitors compliance with the EIA compliance to ensure that the steps prescribed to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of the operations of the plant were ameliorated?

“We have got reports of air pollution, very high temperature caused by gas flare (and) poor fish catch from the Nun River amongst others. There is a need for studies by scientific experts to compare results with the baseline studies in the EIA report.

“The results of these studies will then form the basis to request for measures to ameliorate the impact of the operations (while) the local and state governments should step up action in the interest of the health of residents in the area.

“But the questions is, do they even have the EIA report which is supposed to be a pubic document? The communities are losing on all fronts as they only bear the adverse effects of oil and gas operations while the benefits in form of social amenities elude them,” Alagoa said.

The expert further noted that gas flare in the area and resultant acid rain make rain water unsafe for drinking, regretting that communities surrounding the plant lack access to potable water.

The spokesman for Shell, Mr Precious Okolobo, had earlier denied that the air pollution was from the company’s gas processing and gathering facility.

Mr Okolobo said “there is no air pollution from our Gbarantoru plant; the plant is running efficiently”.

Bayelsa: NDLEA Secures 19 Convictions In 2016

Bayelsa: NDLEA Secures 19 Convictions In 2016The Bayelsa State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says it arrested 215 suspected drug traffickers and seized a total of 219.999kg of various types of illicit drugs in the state in the outgoing 2016.

The command’s Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs, Superintendent Osakwe Ikenna, said that of the 215 suspects, 164 were male and 51 were female.

“The command also successfully secured 19 convictions, while a total of 149 persons who used drugs were counselled”.

The spokesman said, “At present, two residential clients are still undergoing rehabilitation.

“The command equally carried out aggressive and far-reaching public enlightenment through lectures, radio and television programmes, print media, drug free clubs and collaboration with various groups, communities and associations”.

Specifically, “In the last quarter of 2016, the command arrested 39 suspects, out of which 29 were males and 10 were females as well as seizing 52.997kg of various types of illicit drugs from drug traffickers in the state”.

He further stated that during the last quarter, the NDLEA operatives apprehended several drug dealers on the command’s watch list, including a notorious baron, who was arrested on November 12, 2016.

“A total of 20kg of dried weed suspected to be Cannabis Sativa were recovered from his warehouse within Yenagoa metropolis”.

He said the suspected baron’s storekeeper and carrier were also arrested.

He reiterated that the command remains proactive and ever vigilant to frustrate the efforts of unrepentant drug barons, who destroy the lives of unsuspecting youth and foster criminality and insecurity in the society through the distribution and sales of illicit and controlled substances.

The spokesman appealed to communities to support the command by providing relevant and accurate information on drug dealers in their areas.

“We call on residents of the state to celebrate the remaining part of the festivities with due attention to their health and security, and especially, to abstain from all illicit substances.

“We also encourage parents to make themselves available to their wards and children, listen to them and give them moral and psychological support to prevent them from being lured into the use of illicit drugs by their peers,” he concluded.

 

Resident Doctors Threaten To Commence Strike Action In 2017

Resident Doctors, FMC Owerri, StrikeThe National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has advised the Federal Government to urgently wade into the lingering crises in the health sector to the avert impending strike by doctors.

NARD issued a three-week strike notice that would lapse on January 2, 2017.

The Public Relations Officer, NARD, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa branch, Dr. Ugoeze Asinobi, said that the doctors had shelved the planned strike three times in the past four months and are bent on going on strike as from January 2.

The doctors are agitating for a uniform template for the Residency Programme, infrastructure for tertiary health facilities, proper grading of doctors and payment of outstanding salaries, among other issues.

According to Asinobi: “We don’t want strike, but we are going to resort to it again.

“The Residency Programme is fundamental to effective health care, given the dearth of manpower as the country has less than 20 per cent of required experts.

“Each time the ultimatum expires, we shift it in the hope that things would be made right within the time given, but it is now obvious the Ministry officials are insincere.

“The issues we go on strike for are always the same issues and we are resolute to withdraw services come January 2, 2017, if our concerns are not addressed.

“One wonders if health ministry officials are sabotaging the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari on purpose, as their brazen and blatant disregard to the most basic institutional needs of the major workhorses of the health sector leaves a lot to be desired.

“Their attitude leaves one bewildered as sabotage appears to be the only logical explanation,” he stated.

Furthermore, he alleged that officials of Federal Ministry of Health are playing politics with the lives of Nigerians as they are insensitive and disconnected from the realities the masses were facing in their daily lives.

“NARD frowns at the wastage in building new primary health centres, rather than rehabilitating, equipping and staffing existing ones with requisite manpower”.

“Resident doctors have always embraced dialogue and discussions in finding lasting solutions, but it is obvious that our commitment to peace and industrial harmony is yet to be reciprocated”.

The P.R.O then appealed to the federal government to wade into the industrial dispute for the overall interest of the welfare of the citizenry.

According to him, executives of NARD remain committed to ending the myriad of incursions adversely affecting the welfare of resident doctors.

Family of Police Sergeant Shot By Colleague Demands Justice

Family of Police Sergeant Shot By Colleague Demands JusticeThe family members of Sgt. Salvation Adaka a Policemen who was shot dead by his colleagues over N20,000 ‘largesse’ on November 7, 2016 in Yenagoa have called on the Police authorities to prosecute the culprits.

It was gathered that Adaka and three of his colleagues from Agudama-Ekpetiama Police Division were on patrol duty on November 7 2016 and stopped over at a wake-keep where they were rewarded with N20,000

Trouble however started when an argument ensued over the sharing formula for the gift received by Adaka, the most senior member of the patrol team and he was shot dead in the scuffle.

Prince Joseph Yabefa, the representative of the family of the deceased policeman said that the family just received the autopsy reports which confirms that Adaka died of gunshots.

He said that the pathologist who conducted the post mortem and autopsy found pieces of the lethal bullets in the spinal cord of the deceased.

Yabefa, who expressed satisfaction with the steps so far taken by the Bayelsa Police Command on the incident, noted that the family is demanding the prosecution of the suspects.

“We have been following developments on the case, our interactions with the Police indicate that three of the Policemen with Adaka on that day were immediately arrested and detained.

“We were also told that one of them who was found not to be culpable have been released while two are still in Police custody awaiting prosecution.

“Most importantly, investigations have indicated that they were on official duty when the incident ensued and not illegal duty as being speculated.

“We are still in grief because Salvation Adaka was the bread winner of the entire extended family including his immediate family; he has an aged mother, five children as well as elder and younger brothers that depended on him.

“We urge the Police to sustain the tempo and not to tamper with the evidences available that will form the basis of prosecution and we shall follow this matter to a logical conclusion,” he said.

Sources at Bayelsa Police Command revealed that the two policemen indicted in the case have been dismissed.

Spokesman of Bayelsa Police Command, DSP Asinim Butswat, however said on telephone that discipline and sanction of the three policemen lies within the administrative powers of the Bayelsa Police Commissioner.

Bayelsa Signs MOU For Management of Hospital

Bayelsa Signs MOU For Management of HospitalThe Bayelsa State Government has entered into an agreement with Oyesis Global Network Nigeria Ltd for the management of the Government House Hospital Complex, towards actualizing its vision of transforming the state into a major medical tourism destination.

Speaking shortly after signing the memorandum of understanding in the Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Seriake Dickson said his administration has already made relevant investments in the sector, including the complex, to drive the vision.

According to the Governor, the 350-bed Melford Okilo Memorial Hospital and other ongoing health projects in the state would be completed and put to use in 2017, in addition to the state healthcare insurance scheme.

The Governor said that “most of the health facilities in the state would be run under a public private partnership arrangement” and called on the people of the state and the general public to take advantage of the services.

Describing the diagnostic centre as a world-class facility, which has been outsourced to a reputable medical firm, he said the forensic analysis unit would commence operations in January 2017.

Commenting further on the Government House Hospital Complex, Governor Dickson described its location as strategic, as the facility would enjoy constant power supply and security services to boost service delivery to the people.

In his remarks, the leader of the Oyesis Global Network Nigeria Ltd team, Dr. Herbert Oye, while commending the state government for providing state-of-the-art health facilities said that with proper management of the projects, the government would reap bountifully from its investments.

“I assure you of my company’s commitment to the agreement and to bring our experience to bear on the running of this state healthcare delivery system, in accordance with international standards,” he said.

Military Parades Suspected Pipeline Vandals In Bayelsa

Operation Delta Safe, Military , Bayelsa, Pipeline VandalsThe military joint task force in south-south Nigeria says it has apprehended a notorious pipeline vandal popularly known as “General Eagle”.

The Commander of the task force code-named “Operation Delta Safe”, Rear Admiral Apochi Sulieman, announced the arrest on Thursday during a media parley at the JTF Headquarters in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Rear Admiral Sulieman said that based on a tip off, the task force also raided a lodge and arrested one Mr Funebi.

The second suspect was alleged to be a known sea pirate and pipeline bleeding expert, as well as an henchman in charge of arms.

The commander further revealed that three other suspects were arrested for pipeline vandalism and items recovered from their hideout are seven mobile phones, 15 identity cards, an ATM card and a jack knife.

While the suspects are still undergoing further interrogations, the task force has reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring peace and economic stability in the Niger Delta region.