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.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has challenged the return of Governor Seriake Dickson in the just concluded election, saying the whole process appeared untidy.
The Director of Communication for APC Campaign Organisation, Nathan Egba, made the declaration on Sunrise Daily on Monday while speaking from Yenegoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
He attributed the victory of Governor Dickson to manipulation of results announced by the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Obviously, there is a lot of backroom drama leading to what we saw and I am sorry to say (with all due respect), the figures that were announced as far as some of us are concerned were just allocated because the whole process, the entire system, everything ended up appearing untidy.
“Even the person that was announced as the winner knows that he did not win the election properly. He only won the election based on the announcement that was made by the returning officer based on figures that as far as we are concerned, were doctored, were cooked up, were arranged and were allocated to the various candidates,” he said.
Mr Egba also blamed the APC loss to the cancellation of results in their stronghold, lamenting the prevention of the party agent from partaking in the collation process.
“At Okporoma, which is the Local Government headquarters of the Southern Ijaw, our party agent was arrested in the middle of the election, taken away and was prevented from partaking in the collation process,” he said while adding that the same incident was recorded in Ogbia Local Government Area (LGA).
According to the APC official, “The Electoral Law says if the number of votes that are cancelled are in excess of the difference between two leading candidates, then that election will be called as inconclusive.
“Even if we did not protest or complain or whatever, it is still not right to have returned Seriake Dickson as the winner because the votes that they got and the results did not meet the parameters of the Electoral Law,” he said.
In his reaction to the APC claims, the Director of Publicity for Dickson Campaign Organisation, Jonathan Obuebite, said “what happened in Bayelsa was just a true reflection of what the Ijaw nation represent”.
He said that the Governor was widely accepted, maintaining that the people of Bayelsa State had promised to return him for a second term.
Mr Obuebite also highlighted claims that the PDP Chairman in Bayelsa State was held hostage for three hours while his residence was vandalised.
He added that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members were prevented from participating in the election in the wards where APC won in Brass LGA, saying they were attacked as well as chased out of the community.
According to the PDP official, “Before the election, we did stated that we are aware the APC has been going around brandishing results to people which they use in convincing so many persons to defect to their party that they have results and that their result will be announced,” stating that the APC never came into the election with the purpose of allowing the electorate decide who would rule them.
On ensuring the subsequent conduct of peaceful elections in the country, Mr Obuebite recommended that agencies responsible for ensuring security should endeavor not to play according to party lines.
The 11th Guild of Editors Conference was held in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State capital, on Thursday.
The theme of the event, “The Change We Need: The Role of the Editor”, which is in conformity to the change mantra of the Buhari-led administration.
Nigerian editors agreed that it is time for things to be done differently to ensure the progress of the country.
The event attracted editors from across the country and also very prominent fellows of the guild.
Chairman of the event and Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh (OON), urged editors to “strive to see how we (editors) can take responsibility of what we do to the quality of public debates and thereby help to solve problems and not to make them insolvable.
“We should make a conscious effort to go right into the communities and find out what is of concern to them and bring them to the fore”, he said, adding that all “editors must imbibe the new way of doing things”.
The Nigerian Guild of Editors is a non-governmental, non-partisan, non-profit making organization, for the highest strata of working journalists who have attained the exalted position of editors in both print and broadcast journalism.
President Goodluck Jonathan says he is the most documented president in the history of Nigeria, following the works of his Special Adviser on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Mr Oronto Douglas.
The President was paying tribute to late Oronto Douglas at the end of a commendation service in his honour at the Saint Peters Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Yenegoa, Bayelsa State.
He said that Oronto was a dedicated and committed special adviser who stood by him till the end, without any sign of betrayal.
He said that Oronto was a dependable ally who will be missed at all times.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, in his tribute, extolled the selfless life Oronto Douglas lived and promised that the legacies he left behind should not be allowed to die.
Governor Dickson, who said that the experience and vast contacts of Douglas Oronto would be greatly missed, called on well meaning Nigerians to rally round the Oronto family to ensure that they do not suffer.
He also disclosed plans to give out scholarships up to university level to his children, as a token of appreciation of his life of service to the people of Bayelsa State.
As part of the tributes, children from the EK Clerk Preparatory School founded by Oronto Douglas, made a presentation in honour of their founder.
Douglas Oronto was a foremost environmental activist renowned for his intellectual articulation of the Niger Delta struggle.
He died on April 9, 2015, four months to his 49th birthday.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved loan facilities to the tune of over $400 million for various development projects across the 36 states of the federation.
Minister of State for Finance, Mr Bashir Yuguda, told State House Correspondents after the council meeting that the loan approvals were part of the Goodluck Jonathan administration’s commitment to better the lives of Nigerians in line with the transformation agenda.
Also approved by the FEC is the establishment of nine new private universities across the country.
They are Augustine University, Iloran, Lagos State, Chrisland University, Owode, Ogun State, Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun state, Hallmark University Ijebu Itele, Ogun State, Kings University, Odeogun, Osun State.
Others are Micheal and Cecilia Ibru University, Orode, Delta State, Mountain Top University, Makogi Oba, Ogun State, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Summit University, Ofah Kwara State.
This was disclosed to State House correspondents by the Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka after the council meeting.
The FEC also approved the contract for the award of contract for consultancy services and construction works of the head office complex and ancillary facilities of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in Yenegoa, Bayelsa, for the sum of N27.1 billion.
The Bayelsa State Government has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with Julius Berger International to develop the Yenagoa/Azikoro Business Park in the State capital.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, signed the Memorandum of Understanding in accordance to the administration’s policy of engendering private sector participation in the development of the state.
At a ceremony marking the MOU signing at the company’s International Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Friday, Governor Dickson noted that the new partnership would serve as a veritable framework to fast-track the infrastructural development of the state.
Expressing satisfaction with the performance level of Julius Berger in the execution of projects, the Bayelsa State Chief Executive stated that the relationship between the company and the State Government had been of immense benefit to both parties.
He added that it has brought about the construction of new roads and the expansion of a number of old roads within the state capital and its environs, including the 12 kilometre Isaac Boro road, the NNPC mega station flyover and the Opolo-Imiringi road among others.
While affirming government’s resolve to keep to its side of the MOU, the Governor was of the view that Julius Berger has since grown to be a partner with equal stake in the development of the state and called for a revision of the company’s master plan for the development of the state, in line with the present realities on ground.
In his response, the Managing Director of Julius Berger International, Mr George Marks, expressed gratitude to the Governor and his entourage for embarking on the trip to the company’s headquarters.
As a bid to re-validate the master plan, Mr Mark expressed the company’s gratitude and commitment. He gave assurances that at an agreed time, the company leadership would be on hand to review the master plan and arrange a forum for interaction.
Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has performed the foundation laying ceremony of the State Ecumenical Centre in Yenagoa , the state capital.
He explained that the decision to build the centre was borne out of his administration’s desire to appreciate and dedicate the state to God for his manifold blessings.
Governor Dickson, who expressed gratitude to the church for their continued prayers and support, emphasized the need for Bayelsans to form the habit of thanking and appreciating the goodness of God at all times for His kindness and mercies.
“As the governor of Bayelsa state, I have every reason to thank God. During our electioneering, we put God first in everything that we did and we were able to record a political feat that is unprecedented in the history of our dear state” Governor Dickson remarked.
He went further, “In spite of the threat and the reign of terror then, no life was lost while God has given us victory over all the litigations instituted against this administration.
Whatever feat recorded by this administration, it is to the credit of the people of Bayelsa state”.
“For this administration to succeed and deliver the dividend of democracy as promised during our campaign, we need the support of everybody”.
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Bayelsa State chapter, Most Reverend Israel Ege thanked the governor for the warm relationship between the church and government, noting that the state has recorded another landmark achievement by setting aside a particular day to give thanks to God.
Ege, quoting from the gospel according to Saint Luke and the Book of Psalm, stressed the need for thanksgiving, adding that the state had in the past gone through turbulence, notably the recent flood that left in its trail the destruction of property worth millions of naira and the recent Supreme court verdict that upheld the victory of Governor Seriake Dickson election.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the contracting firm, Core Services and Consulting International Limited, Mr. Victor Omobude said the project when completed would not only be a worship centre but also serve as an iconic tourist attraction in the state.
According to him, the edifice, which is designed by world renowned architect, Professor Giorgio Pagnoni comprises restaurants, offices, conference rooms and an altar with a remote control hydraulic system.
For better cooling effect, he added that the centre will also have about 5 kilometre of underground piping to circulate natural air as back up to the normal air-conditioning system.
In their separate remarks, the Chaplain of Aso Villa Chapel, Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba and Apostle Zilly Aggrey of the Royal House of Grace International Church commended the state government for embarking on the project and prayed God to continually bless the Governor.
The centre to be situated at the gateway town of Igbogene, on completion is expected to have a sitting capacity of about 3,000 people.