Saturday, 29 September 2018

WORKERS STRIKE: NLC DESERVES PROSECUTION By Evans Tubonah

Nigerian Flag
This Country is called Nigeria, the largest African nation in the world, with a population figure of over 140 million people out of which Civil Service work force is less than 10 percent.
It is absolutely disheartening that,Nigeria Labour Congress which is just a Civil Service workers Union like every other union, every other Organization or Association in this country,  has been arrogating to herself powers as another governmental authority in the country with impunity to call workers to conspiracy, to make illegal announcements through the media that Government Workers across the nation: Federal, States and Local Government Councils should go on strike to enforce their demand for a salary increase.
 A demand for a pay rise in the Civil Service or any other set of employees, in companies and other sectors has nothing to do with the majority of Nigerians, who aught not to had been in any way dragged into a private matter between the NLC and their employer, the Federal Government of Nigeria
Besides the Civil Service, the Federal Government has a lot of engagements with other Nigerians; talk about the Contractors embarking on meaningful projects that are targeted to be completed on a scheduled date, students  pursuing their education in schools preparing for their examinations that are also fixed to time and dates.
What about the hospitals and other medical establishments providing healthcare services?
What about the Aviation sector, Maritime sector, the petroleum sector etc.? These and many more are the responsibilities of the Federal Government to the masses of the Nigerian nation of which the private sector is considered by every rational government as very important to national development; but the NLC which has no Constitutional Right to infringe on the economic and every other Rights over fellow Nigerian citizens, and or foreigners, brazenly went ahead and declared a strike that crumbled the economy and subjected the poor masses to unimaginable hardship and suffering.
The selfish and unpatriotic NLC aught to know that her unwarranted declaration of national strike  caused irreparable financial losses to all tiers of government and the private sector in particular   running into billions of Naira as damages. This is unacceptable. The NLC must be made to understand that the salary increment war that her insignificantly meager workforce that with less than 10% members of the Nigerian population are waging against the Federal Government has nothing to do with the rest of
Gani Fawahinmi [SAN]
Nigerians who are not in the pay vouchers of government as Civil Servants.
What the NLC should have done Constitutionally was to drag the Federal Government to Industrial Courts for arbitration and for a lasting solution than to embark on such a crude, uncivilized, and brutal attack against the entire nation while pursuing their personal matter with their employer.
The take on this issue, is that, the Federal Government should understand that the billions the NLC is wrestling or fighting
to receive will not go into the pockets of the none Civil Servants, even a kobo. The question is,  how will they compensate for the losses they have caused to the rest of the nation for their dastardly act?
This is a fundamental matter desiring legal consideration that the well being of the ordinary masses is being trampled upon with impunity by a workers union called NLC, without anyone saying anything. If our legal luminary of blessed memory, Nationalist and the masses Rights Activist, Chief Gani Fawahinmi [SAN] were here this impunity could have been put to check.
The Executive Committee of the Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC],  need to be prosecuted for causing such a colossal waste of time and money estimated to a whooping amount of  billions of Naira, to the detriment of the struggling and unemployed  masses of this country and foreigners alike and for
PHOTO OF HOW NLC  SHUT DOWN THE NATION
giving such an embarrassing negative publicity to this our nation, for their selfish interest, is not an  issue to be trivialized.
Both the Nigerian government and the populace should ensure that this uncivilized approach to solving labour matters be nipped in the bud with immediate.effect once and for all.
From careful observation of what the NLC has been doing to the government and people of this country over the years, is that, that union does not want the progress of Nigeria, hence for every challenging moment the NLC comes out to 'add salt to injury' {worsen the situation} of the particular challenge. Now even the blind man can see and the deft hear and the little children in nursery and primary schools know that our dear country is not at the best of time in our national economy.
 NLC should be brought to book whether the strike is called off or not the damage is already done and they must apologize or be ready to be dragged to Court for compensation of losses to the masses.




   

Saturday, 4 August 2018

LATEST ON JONES ABIRI: DSS SUED FOR N200 MILLION

Femi Falana [SAN]
There has been a u-turn in the case against Bayelsa based Journalist and Publisher of Weekly Source Newspaper, Mr. Jones Abiri as Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana Drags DSS to Abuja High Court to pay N200m compensation to the Journalist for trampling on his Fundamental Rights, according to the Nigerian constitution.
Femi Falana's position is that the DSS failed to follow the law in the discharge of their duties in the arrest of Journalist Abiri, thus describing his detention as illegal.
According to Punch,
" Falana argued that the detention violates the applicant's fundamental rights to personal liberty, dignity of person, fair hearing, health and freedom of association,..."
Femi Falana [SAN] made it clear that the rights so violated are guaranteed by sections 34, 35 and 40 of the Constitution as well as Article 11, 16 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act"
A litigation Clerk in the Falana's law firm, Mr. Paul Ochayi quoted to have said in an affidavit filed in support of the N200m suit has it that:
"...Abiri was arrested without warrant by the ....agents ...July 21, 2016.
" There is no Court Order which authorized the detention of the applicant..."
   who had been in the custody of officers of the DSS who arrested him, 21st July, 2016 in the state capital Yenagoa.
The publisher was said to have been arrested with widespread accusations of been involved in "...militancy and of sending text messages to oil companies demanding illicit payments"
Nigerian Journalist
Jones Abiri
 Abiri who spent over 2 years in the hands of the DSS, held incommunicado to his wife, family members, to his doctors, to associates including his lawyers through that length of time was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Court, Wuse Abuja on Friday, 29th July 2018, granted bail at the sum of N2m with two sureties at level 15 Civil Servants based in Abuja, a bail condition, Jones Abiri;s Lawyers contended was too stringent to fulfill.
Thursday, 2nd August, Jones Abiri appeared before the Chief Magistrate Chukwuemeka Nweke for his defense, but the DSS not been ready with any of the four witnesses,  the case was adjourned to the 16th of August for determination of the substantive suit, while Abiri was taken to Federal prison in Keffe Abuja.
However, mixed reactions trail the ordeal of the Journalist's arrest, unlawful detention and the stringent bail conditions.
Jones Abiri's Lawyer, Femi Falana in his reaction to the stringent bail conditions stated that Abiri deserves self recognition as a Journalist, take himself on bail and to appear in Court when needed.
The President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Waheed Odusile was quoted as saying:
"Journalist Abiri did not deserve incarceration for two years by the DSS, because journalism is not a crime" What he did was journalism and journalism is not a crime...we frown at any attempt to criminalize journalism." the NUJ President emphatically stated.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

CHIEF DARIUS OBIENE DEDE DECLARES FOR SENATE UNDER PRESSURE

Chief  Darius Obiene-Dede
Senatorial Aspirant Bayelsa East 
Former Chairman of PDP in Bayelsa State, Chief Darius Obiene Dede has said that he could no longer resist the pressure of the people of Brass Senatorial district that he should contest the forthcoming Senatorial election.
Chief Obiene Dede who had an interview with Golden Pen Newspaper in the Bayelsa State capital, Yenagoa, stated that as the president of the common man empowerment foundation, who has the heart of the people they felt that he should aspire for the position of Senate of the Brass Senatorial District going by the unanimous  rotational agreement reached. The first slot went to Ogbia to Chief Melford Okilo  , Brass  to Inatimi Spiff, Nembe to Chief Amange, to Ogbia again Clever Ikisikpo and to Brass again, Ben Bruce. Now it is the turn  for Nembe Local Government to produce the candidate for the seat and I, Chief Darius Obiene the President of the commonest people of the world have yielded to the pressure of the masses to the electorate to contest. Hear him:
"...knowing fully well that I am a grassroots politician, a man that grew up from the village, and a man that have the people at heart, I have been under pressure over time to come and aspire for the position of the senate, to represent the very common people at the red chamber. That is why, I herd-here to the yearning and aspirations of the people and I have formally declared my intention to contest for the senate in the Bayelsa Senatorial District...."
Chief Darius Obiene Dede former Deputy Chairman, who following the suspension of Fred Agbedi, his former boss,  became Acting State Chairman of the PDP in Bayelsa, spoke extensively on a wide range of issues bordering on his achievements in office as Chairman of the then Africa's largest political party PDP in the State, recounts as follows:
"I was then the Deputy Chairman of PDP Bayelsa State 2005, 2006, prior to the 2007 election...I became the Acting Chairman of the PDP. and I presided over the conduct of the governorship primaries of our great party in the state. And it was in my time, Bayelsans were able to kill two birds with one stone, I was able to return his Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as Governor who further metamorphosed to becoming the Vice President, Acting President and President of Nigeria, and in that primary, Chief Timipre Sylva took 2nd position, and I stood by the principles of the party, moved to Abuja and defended the outcome of the primaries and finally returned Chief Timipre Sylva as Governor of Bayelsa State. ..."
Chief Darius Obiene-Dede in an interview with the Publisher/Editor-in Chief of Golden Pen Newspaper
Chief O.G.Evans Tubonah
In 2011, Chief Darius Obiene said while serving as Acting Chairman, Rufus Abadi was elected as Chairman and he returned to his former position of Deputy Chairman and later became the Chairman of the party following resignation of Rufus Abadi to contest Senatorial election hear him:
"..When Rufus Abadi left, I again became the Chairman and presided over the affairs of the party in the state; so to cap it all I am the only Chairman of the PDP that conducted two primary elections in Bayelsa State and it was at my time as PDP chairman that we were able to produce Vice President and President respectively ..." Watch out for the full interview.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

DENIAL OF QUALIFIED CANDIDATES FOR ADMISSION, JAMB/UNIVERSITIES ACCUSED OF CORRUPTION- By Evans Tubonah

The Nigerian nation is being thrown into another disquiet, which if not nipped in the bud, may lead to
His Excellency,
President Muhammadu Buhari
tarnishing the image of the President Buhari led APC government in particular and the Nigerian nation in general. 
The issue is about an alleged connivance between JAMB and some Universities investing in  corruption by collecting illegal JAMB fees from already qualified candidates for admission to rewrite JAMB to the tune of millions of Naira.
Golden Pen reliably gathered from some of the candidates approved of JAMB as being  qualified for admission into the Universities 2017/2018 academic session, that whereas they though qualified for admission,  were denied out-rightly without any reason whatsoever.
Three students in  separate interviews with this medium made a strong allegation against JAMB and the authorities of some of the Universities/Tertiary Institutions lamenting that they whose results were good with high cut-off points had their positions hijacked and allegedly sold to 'some money bags' by school authorities to whose sons and daughters didn't  make it, and were not qualified for admission.
Your Excellency, this allegation is weighty and needs to be investigated properly so as to ascertain why thousands of qualified candidates for admission for  the 2017/2018 academic session were denied after going through all the processes and were listed by JAMB as qualified. to be admitted in their schools of choice. 
The controversy over this unjust denial of thousands of candidates for admission came to the fore when the Guardian reported February 11 2018 with the caption:  "197,050 qualified candidates denied admission in seven universities..." 
It was reported that the position of the Guardian based on data collected in seven institutions across the Country "...sharply contradict claims by the Joint Admission and Matriculation that over 75 percent of the total number of qualified candidates that applied for admission were admitted into institution of their choice for the 2017/2018 session."
It is on record that when the new Registrar for JAMB, Mr. Ishaq Oloyede assumed duties he stated in clear terms while speaking at a 'training sensitization forum' that: 
"...the board will ensure that candidates are fairly treated and expand admission opportunities as well as protect academic calendar." 
"...emphasized that O/A level results are key qualifying requirements for admission... the Board will not consider any candidate unless he/her passes O/A levels"
Your Excellency, that was a meaningful assurance, what relying upon, because of the words of integrity so expressed. 
In another development the spokesman of JAMB Dr. Fabian Benjamin also announced to JAMB candidates especially those offered admission what they should do in these words:
"...students who have been offered admission into tertiary institutions will soon see their names on the website of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board"
With all these assurances of self acclaimed fairness to every successful candidate for admission, then started the alleged game of dribble of most of the eminently qualified candidates by some university authorities in connivance with some JAMB officials.
His Excellency
Bukola Saraki, the
Senate President
 After denying the qualified candidates for admission, JAMB  went ahead and announced that the validity period for those qualified for admission into universities was just one year and that they should come forward and collect JAMB forms again with more thousands of naira, not minding the fact that  some of them come from poor families whose parents are battling to pay money lenders money borrowed for the JAMB their sons and daughters qualified for admission.
Instead of going by the 3 years validity JAMB qualification Law by the Senate for successful candidates to be admitted into universities/tertiary institutions, JAMB for a reason best known to the Board, came out with the position that the denied candidates must re-write JAMB so as to be given the same qualification which they  have.
In the eyes of the masses and before the law this is unfair, it is unjust, illegal, therefore  null and void. And it's being vied and considered as corruption of the highest order, in view of the fact that, JAMB is out to collect thousands of naira from the said qualified candidates for the same exam they passed.
The Nigerian Senate 13th October 2016 passed the amendment to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board;s Act JAMBBILL111SB 245 into law. Part of the amendment is the extension of the validity of JAMB UTME to 3 years"
"Senate President Bukola Saraki in appreciating his distinguished colleagues for their work toward the passage of the bill commented that the new amendment will indeed bring financial relief to students as well as parents... reduce bottlenecks and corruption in the admission process."
Prof. Ishaq
JAMB Registrar
But contrary to that, the JAMB towing a line of impunity, has gone ahead to illegally justify the denial of the thousands of qualified candidates for admission 2017/2018 academic session, by calling on them to come for re-registration and to re-write the same exam which they have passed and are qualified to enter university, tantamount  corrupt practices in view of the fact that millions of naira were being collected from the innocent victims.
Alleging the magnitude of corruption in the JAMB, an anti-corruption and Peoples Rights Organization, "WATCHDOG' raised an alarm, saying that:
"A total of eighty three million naira {N83 million}fraud cases... been uncovered in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board offices in Kano, Edo, Kogi and Plateau states. Watchdog learnt that Benue was making cases involving N31million misappropriation in Edo, N20 million in Kano was equally being investigated, while JAMB officials in Plateau and Gombe were been questioned N15 and N10 million mismanagement respectively. At the same time a case of N7 million...was been looked at in Kogi State.
Mr. President, this denting allegation of corruption was not denied by JAMB, instead it was confirmed by the spokesman of the Board according to media reports reads:
"Confirming the development..JAMB spokesman, Dr. Fabian Benjamin confirmed the figures and stressed that Board would be diligent with it;s investigation and would not tolerate corrupt practices from any of it's officials."
But contrary to this claim there has been no information on the outcome of this investigation, rather than that, JAMB is fully out to with impunity extort the helpless qualified candidates for admission  N12,000 each, times 197, 050 candidates N2,364,600,000. This is fraudulent and need not be allowed to flourish. .

  

Friday, 13 July 2018

BAYELSANS SAD OVER DEATH OF LIONEL JONATHAN

Chief Lionel Jonathan-Omo Late
The news about the death of one of the illustrious Sons of Bayelsa State, Chief Lionel Jonathan-Omo plunged many Bayelsans, Rivers, and people all over the country and beyond into the dept of sorrow.In Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital it was a day of sorrow to many when the news spread like wild fire that the man of many colours, the man who had played key roles in Rivers and in Bayelsa state and  beyond, who had made himself a father to many, a brother to many and a friend of-course to many had just past on without notice to anybody.
It was a rude shock to many especially those who knew him and who had dealings with him.
Chief Lionel Jonathan-Omo came to political limelight when he came out of law school and became a defender of those oppressed in his environment.
To those who had cases that required the services of a lawyer, but could not afford, he stepped in as a Human Right Lawyer either to take his client on bail at the Police station or even go to the Courts to defend his clients if need be without collecting legal fees.. That bold initiative was the starting point of his political career which endeared him to the masses; especially to the youths.
That informed the gatherings of people at his country home in Ogbolomabiri Nembe, his maternal home. Lionel, shortly called Lio by his admirers  whose father Jonathan was Chief Egbelu in Bassambiri Nembe always remained open to all that came to him from the both sides for one thing or the other, thus making his country home a beehive of activities.
Due to his popularity, when political activities resumed during the Military Presidency of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida's advocacy of a two political party system, Lionel Jonathan took advantage and formed a political pressure group called Isongufuro, with which he entered the National Republican Convention [NRC] and became a star in the political camp of the Chief Rufus Ada George for Governor Campaign Organization in Rivers state/
Barrister Lionel Jonathan was not at all a bench warmer in the political family of the Governor Ada Georges administration, hence at the victory of the election, he was appointed the Director General of Agriculture in the State.
After the Military era and after the creation of Bayelsa State and bifurcation, when the nation was set for the 4th Republic politics, Lionel Jonathan was the choice by the Governorship candidate of the All Peoples Party [APP], Chief Francis Dokpolagha as his Running mate
.After loosing the election to Chief D.S.P Alamieyeseigha, Lionel Jonathan was honourably appointed Commissioner of Environment and later Commissioner of Agriculture in the State.
He demonstrated the gift of a visionary leader by maintaining a policy of carrying his followers or supporters along  at every level of his rise.Due to his contributions at home, he was elected to occupy  the highly respected Chieftaincy stool and title of Chief Omo in the Nembe Council of Chiefs in Ogbolomabiri.
Chief Lionel Jonathan-Omo was a man of ideas aimed at creating wealth and prosperity not only to himself, but to as many as he could accommodate in his ship of entrepreneurship. To this end, he went into business and came out with the establishment he called "Achievers Farm" at the  Igbogene  axis of the State capital, Yenagoa, which he turned to a farm village, a tourist centre, a centre for sports activities public enlightenment, a holiday resort, and a melting point for political leaders etc.
Chief Jonathan-Omo was a one time Chairman of Yenagoa Chambers of Commerce, who himself had a number of investments that made him a business mogul of his time, having Achievers bakery, having a market of his own to promote commercial activities within and outside the state, all of which popularized the lecturer of Law at the University, the business man and the political colossus in his right to have the honor of becoming the Deputy Chairman of the Chief Timipre Sylva for Governorship of Bayelsa State in the 2015-2016 election under the platform of the All Progressive Congress [APC]
Chief Lionel Jonathan Omo;s death gave a rude shock to the author of this piece, Chief Otonye Evans Tubonah, Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of Golden Pen, as it did to others which suspended Golden Pen from coming out with a breaking news  because the medium was devastated and could not in anyway concentrate, the publisher had said.


Saturday, 7 July 2018

54TH BIRTHDAY: FORMER GOVERNOR VOW'S TO DELIVER BAYELSA FROM POVERTY

Their Excellencies, Chief Timipre and Alanyigi Sylva
The former Governor and APC leader of Bayelsa State, His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva Yesterday, Saturday 7th of July, 2018 celebrated his 54th birthday in the oil rich Bayelsa State capital Yenagoa.
It was a sea of heads at the popular Honey Hills Hotels along Tombia 
road  where the historic occasion held. The former Governor and APC leader of the State,Chief Timipre Sylva who expressed appreciation to the people of Bayelsa State,  friends and well wishers from far and near for their show of love of him and his family assured them that Bayelsa shall be great again.
The former Governor who said, he believes in the well being and prosperity of the people of the state expressed concern over what he called endemic poverty ravaging the lives of the people, which according to him resulted in the maladministration by the PDP Government in the state. 
He said the state is still viable for development and that what need be done is for the people not to worry, but to take a resolution not to make the mistakes of the past at elections by choosing or electing only credible candidates, who will be servant leaders to the people of the state.
Chief Sylva flanked by dignitaries cutting his 54th Birthday Cake
   To achieve that, he said, the APC is the only credible political party  in the country and in Bayelsa state  with laudable policies and programmes that will better the land and people of the state if voted into power.
He therefore called on all Civil Servants and every other stakeholder in the State not to despair but to hope for a better tomorrow in the nearest future.
The former Deputy Governor and Acting Governor of the state, Chief Werinipre Seibarugu, the running mate to the governorship candidate of the APC Chief Sylva at the governorship election in the 2015, Elder Wilberforce Igiri, former Secretary to the State Government GideonEkewe, Chiefs from various communities across the state men and women of integrity and people of all walks of  were among the dign-
A cross section of mammoth crowd.
itaries at the occasion. 
He thanked the organizers of the birthday programme and all that came from far and near to grace the historic event with best wishes to them all.
To be continued: 

Thursday, 28 June 2018

GOV. DICKSON AND REFORMATION OF BAYELSA: THE TRUE STORY

His Excellency
Hon.Henry Seriake Dickson
The Governor of Bayelsa State
The Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, His Excellency, Honorable Henry Seriake Dickson the 4th indigenous governor of the only all Ijaw state in the Niger Delta region of the South/South Geo-political zone is also the longest serving governor of the state.
A brief account of leadership of the State from the genesis of statehood of Bayelsa to date has to begin with the first Military Administrator, Navy Captain Philip Ayeni, Navy Captain Omoniyi Caleb Olubolade and Lt. Col. Paul Edor Obi who midwifed the first democratic government led by His Excellency, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha as the first indigenous governor of Bayelsa state. Governor Alamieyeseigha was succeeded by Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who was his deputy before becoming the 2nd indigenous governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva was the 3rd and now we have the incumbent, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson as the 4th indigenous governor of Bayelsa state.
Dickson was sworn in alongside his deputy, REar Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah [Rtd] at the Isaac Boro Peace Park on the 14th of February, 2012 that was Valentine's Day. After taking the Oath of Office and of Allegiance, the Governor delivered his maiden address to the people of the state, where he graphically announced the mission of his administration that had to do with Reformation and Restoration in these words:
"We shall undertake fundamental reforms to emphasize transparency, accountability, due-process and value re-orientation by all institutions and functionaries of government...there shall be zero tolerance for corruption under my administration.."
The governor emphasized this point by saying:
"The days of enrichment without labor and funding of the greedy and avarice of a few at the expense of the development of our people is over, I will plug all leakages and sources of corruption which have been the bane of our development."
And to achieve this cardinal objective and policies of anti-corruption, probity and accountability, the Governor Dickson an agenda for Reformation and Restoration. To this end he began a monthly transparency briefings whereby the monthly incomes and expenditures were announced to the public.
The early stages of governance was smooth, but when the Governor, Hon. Henry Dickson took his anti-corruption crusade to the door steps of the the "Alibabas" [thieves or official rats\ in the Civil Service, then he knew that the battle line was drawn between his government and the 'brigands' in office. Unperturbed, the governor vowed to bring the culprits to book with a view to sanitizing the system and to bring the state back to the fast lane of development, for which purpose he constituted various verification committees.
The Dickson government had not helped matters looking at the claims of 'robust' achievements made by the Restoration government in the 'War Against Corruption'  in the Civil Service Reforms, that had given hope to the people of the state going by their claims of realizing a whopping billions of Naira  from incessant verification exercises, without having the ability to take care of just a month's  salaries of workers in the Month of June, lamented by aggrieved workers of the State Government.
The weeping Civil servants, who spoke to Golden Pen behind camera said they wee afraid of a sledge hammer of sack, said: "...we expected a self reliant government that  could take care of at least one month salaries bill at the end of the month, after all the monthly hundreds of millions of Naira to billions of Naira from the gains of ghost workers removal from vouchers, sack of those due retirement and sack of unqualified workers etc, all that money so gathered should have been more than enough to pay our salaries.."