Monday, 28 May 2018

OPEN LETTER TO CHIEF EFEREBO IGOMA: PLEASE OBEY THE COURT ORDER

Chief Otonye Evans TubonaC
Dear Chief Ikaonaworio Eferebo Igoma, you became the Regent of the Opu Nembe Bassambiri Council of Chiefs, because you were the elected Chairman in office when the Amanyanabo, HRM King R. M. Iwowari passed on to eternal glory and you had the rare privilege of burying the King. And in line with the Constitution of the Nembe Bassambiri Council of Chiefs as still applicable with the addition of Opu to the name of the Council and the Kingdom on the issue of Regent:
Section 20
(i) Whenever a reigning Amanyanabo passes away, the Chairman of the Chiefs'Council for the time being shall automatically become the Regent.
(ii) The Regent will continue in office until the Amanyanabo is laid to rest. Thereafter, the Regent will remain in office for one year during which period a new Amanyanabo will be appointed, and the position of the Regent is relinquished."
The King was laid to rest following a burial programme that began Nov. 23rd-Dec. 7th 2014  as per the traditions of Opu Nembe, from which period you automatically became the Regent to carry out the function assigned by the Constitution to the Regent that should not go beyond one year.
But you operated outside the stipulated period of one year, infact your mandate as Regent expired after the one year because that is what the Constitution says. And while you were there presiding in a meeting, the House appointed another Regent and because of the emergence of the other Regent by the same Chiefs Council of Opu Nembe in person of Chief Robert Johnbull Efere, the Council was factionalized. You were the leader of one faction and Chief Efere was the leader of the other faction and both of you were Regent.
Though, our medium Golden Pen Newspaper published the backing of your mandate by the Constitution at that time,  it was appalling that you did not obey the Constitution in the appointment of a King until it was over, yet it didn't occur to you that you have no more mandate to claim being either Chairman of Chiefs Council or Regent of Opu Nembe.
In the Regent factional crisis that stagnated and impoverished the people and the community, you were fingered as dipping your hand into the coffers of the Chiefs Council, carting away  jaw breaking amounts of millions of naira for purposes of avoidable litigation in courts.
Chief Ikaonaworio Eferebo Igoma
Chief Igoma, I can tell you that one of the major reasons for your failure to appoint a King until your one year  function as Regent expired, was not unconnected with that Court case betwwen you and Chief Robert Johnbull Efere.
 You were dragged to Court not to parade yourself as  an overall Regent in Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs.
"...THE HIGH COURT OF BAYELSA STATE OF NIGERIA IN THE NEMBE JUDICIAL DIVISION HOLDEN AT YENAGOA SUIT NO: NHC/5/2017 BETWEEN CHIEF ROBERT JOHNBULL EFERE CLAIMANT AND CHIEF (DR) I.EFEREBO IGOMA DEFENDANT"
The case which originated through summons dated 17/3/17, was filed, by the claimant for the Court to interpret a document titled:
"A PEACE RESOLUTION REACHED BY OPU NEMBE COUNCIL OF CHIEFS"
The Court after careful examination on the issues raised by the claimant made the following declarations:
"A. A Declaration to the effect that the Defendant is only the Chairman/leader of a faction of Opu nembe Council of Chiefs in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
"B. A Declaration to the effect that the Defendant, not being the Chairman/leader  the entirety of the Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs, is not the Regent of Opu-Nembe Community in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, in accordance with the customs and traditions thereof.
"An Order of  Perpetual Injunction restraining the Defendant from parading himself as the Chairman/leader of Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs, and as the  Regent of Opu Nembe Community in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State."
Delivering Judgement on the matter 15/03/2018 L.M.BOUTIMI JUDGE declared as follows:
"A careful look at Exhibit A shows that both parties willingly signed a document  titled A PEACE RESOLUTION REACHED BY OPU NEMBE COUNCIL OF CHIEFS to be of good behavior and after the burial of late Chief A.S. Digha-Ongiri.
"It is also clear that both parties admitted representing two factions who agreed not to perform any traditional rites of receiving the late A.B Digha Ongiri. Both parties agreed that S.D. Ben Koru should oversee the burial that every executive council collapsed for the duration of the burial. Both parties promised not to ferment trouble in Opu-Nembe and it's environs.
"It is my opinion that this document, Exhibit A, was made as stated in the document for the duration of the late A.B.Digha-Ongiri.
"It is my opinion that two factions existing,; the claimant and the3 defendant in the originating summons heading the various factions are daggers drawn. It is in the light of the above I make the following Declaration :
1. The Defendant is only the Chairman/Leader of a faction of the Opu N embe Council of Chiefs in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
2. That the defendant, not being Chairman/Leader of Chiefs, is not and cannot be the Regent of Opu-Nembe Community in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, in line with the customs and traditions thereof.
3. "An Order of Injunction restricting the Defendant from parading himself as Chairman/Leader of Opu Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State until such a time the proper procedure followed.
4. "It is also Ordered that both factions maintain peace until when proper procedure is adopted, in the appointment of a Leader/Chairman of Nembe Council of Chiefs and Regent of Opu Nembe community
" This is the judgement of the court."
Following this development which was not unknown to most members of the Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs you went about telling your surrogates that all was well, but you didn't have the courage to convene the first quarter scheduled meeting of the  Chiefs Council in April 2018, because of the judgement.
It was widely orchestrated that your compliance to the Court Order was not total, because within the same period you received 150 Surveillance jobs from an Oil Company meant for the Opu Nembe people, which you allegedly diverted unilaterally allocated to yourself, to your family members, and some of the human tools in your hand as alleged, without minding dire consequences. Are you telling the people that the Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs is now synonymous with you or your Private Company? "IKAONAWORIO AND CO, OR EFEREBO & IGOMA LIMITED?
Considering the judgement of Court 15/3/2018 that restrained you from parading yourself as stated above, it was expected of you to quietly and honorably obey the Court Orders and quit as an educated man, an Historian, a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) and a lecturer at the University...and as a man of honour and integrity, but you didn't do that.
Tuesday May 22, 2018, it was alleged that you told some of your surrogates that you commanded the Judge to change his earlier judgement to favour you.
And that you boasted, saying,  that the Judge has given you another judgement outside Court, and that you can now become a Chairman of the Chiefs Council and a Regent.
CONCLUSION:
1. You have no mandate to claim, because your mandate by the Constitution of the Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs, as Regent was for one year from 2014 and it has since expired.
2. Another Regent was also elected by the Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs, Chief Robert Johnbull Efere which divided the Chiefs Council to two factions.
You, Chief Ikaonaworio Eferebo Igoma led one faction, while, Chief Robert Johnbull Efere led the other faction and there was no peace in the land.
3.You were dragged to Court, and the Court judgment stated in part:
" It is obvious that two factions exist; Claimant and Defendant in the originating summons, heading the various factions. This is an indication both factions are daggers drawn"
That was what the Judge critically observed before taking the decision of restraining you not to parade yourself  as either Chairman of the Chiefs Council or as Regent, for the interest of Peace and Security of the people and the land of Opu Nembe Bassambiri.
4. In that suit you were the defendant, not the claimant. And the Claimant raised issues, A.B &C
A. A Declaration that you were only Chairman/leader of a faction of the Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs, and as such you were not the Regent of Opu Nembe community going by the customs and traditions, and finally that you should be restrained from parading yourself as either Chairman or Regent of Opu Nembe and all these prayers were granted by the Court, thus you have no mandate to call a meeting or preside over community matters with a Declaration that you are not  the Regent of Opu Nembe, and as a law abiding citizen of Nigeria, it is pertinent that you obey the Court Order!
By Otonye Godman Evans-Tubonah
Publisher/Editor-In-Chief
Golden Pen Newspaper
CC The Chief Judge of Bayelsa State
CC The Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command
CC The Director State Service Bayelsa State
CC All Chiefs of Opu Nembe.


Thursday, 3 May 2018

GREAT OGBODO TAMUNO GROUP OF CHIEFTAINCY HOUSES MAKE HISTORY IN OPU NEMBE By Evans Tubonah

From left Chief A.Z.Aladede Dr. Amaegbe as Chief Tamuno
Nembe is one of the most ancient ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta Region, South-South Nigeria, which traditional values are relatively interwoven with other ethnic nations like the people of Bille, Okrika, Bonny, Opobo amongst others had remained unique, and second to none in the choice of their leaders; the Amanyanabo of the community or the election of a Chief to head a Chieftaincy House or to be elected as the Head Chief to a Group of Chieftaincy Houses.
We say history is made Thursday, 3rd of May, 2018 in the Great Ogbodo Tamuno Group of Chieftaincy Houses of Opu Nembe Bassambiri, when a new leader in person of Dr. M.F. Amaegbe emerged, unanimously chosen by the group and presented for the traditional chalking ceremony as Chief Tamuno, which took place in the sacred floor of King Gbolowei, Ogbodo 2nd/Chief Keremah "Okpu" (Mausoleum) in King Kariyai's Compound, Sikakapolo, In the ancient city of Opu Nembe Bassambiri.
The occasion scheduled to hold by 10.am Nigerian time attracted people of all walks of life in and outside Nembe and it's environ within and outside Bayelsa State. The occasion was to begin in earnest, but not without observing the strict traditions of the following:
a cross section of Chiefs
1. The tide. what says the tide, is it flowing? It is only by flowing tides that  chalking ceremonies must take place, and to beat  an unfavorable tide, which begins with ebbing to or in the morning, water can be collected during the flow of the tide to be kept in the mausoleum for the ceremony.
2. Such a great occasion cannot take place without a communication with the ancestors, the founding father of the Opu Nembe kingdom, King Obiai Ogbodo and the rest of the great ancestors that followed after him. They must be informed and also given assorted drinks such as native gin, foreign hot drink, sweet mineral drink etc.
3. There must be the "Ikisa" (traditional talking drum) to announce to the spiritual and temporal that the occasion was ready to hold or is on course.
4. The "Ekere" (wooden gung) must also be ready to be played all through the three day ceremony intermittently according to the time fixed.
On this historic occasion all protocols observed, which began with calling on the Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and the Earth to take charge of all that the Great Ogbodo Tampon Group of Chieftaincy Houses was set to do.
After committing the programme to God, by Chief Albert Digigha Wari, the Priest of King Obiai Ogbodo, Elder Obeye Numofagha called on the ancestors through the ceremonies of sanctification and libation to also take their rightful place at the ceremony.
A cross section of Chiefs 2
That done, the stage was now fully set for the chalking, but not without an address by the Chairman of the Organizing  Committee for the Ceremony, Chief Tony Bokolo Alfred, who gave a briefing of how the Group went shopping for a befitting candidate for the headship position of the King Tamuno Chieftancy stool outside without results until, decided to look inward and found Chief (Dr.) Markson F. Amaegbe Orutari as he was, calling on him to step upward to lead the Group of Houses by taking the Tamuno title.
Chief Alfred said all the branches of the stalk of the Tamuno Chieftaincy stool agreed unanimously to give the highly exalted stool to Dr. Amaegbe because of his outstanding developmental strides in the Group and the Opu Nembe Chiefs Council. He appreciated the turnout and wished all attendees the best in life.
Then the the then Acting Head Chief, Chief A.Z.Aladede invited the Tamuno designate, Dr. M.F.Amaegbe to the sacred temple of the ancestors where he was chalked as Chief Tamuno, the Head Chief of the Great Ogbodo Tamuno Group of Chieftaincy Houses of Opu Nembe Bassambiri, which made it a day of celebration not only for the people of the Tamuno Group, but for the kingdom.


Saturday, 28 April 2018

BAYELSA NEEDS MORE HANDS FOR DENTAL HEALTH-Dr. Sagbe

Dr Solomon Sagbe 
There has been a call on Bayelsan medical students in Nigeria and in the diaspora not to shy away from studies of dentistry. He made the call while exchanging views with the Golden Pen Newspaper in the Bayelsa State capital, Yenagoa.
Dr. Solomon Sagbe said it  has become  necessary to raise an alarm because of the backwardness of the oral health sector and the suffering of dentistry patients, due to lack of man power in the sector. 
Dr. Sagbe who was the head of dental health care in Rivers State before the bifurcation, following the creation of Bayelsa, himself and nine others came over which made a total of ten (10) dental health care practitioners as follows:
"Before we came over, I was the head of dentistry in Rivers State. Those who came over with me include Dr. (Mrs) Opukiri, she is now a Permanent Secretary,  two dental therapists,  George and John, we had two dental technologists, late Mr.Reginald Kenigbolo and one Ebiweni Ugo who just retired last year and we had up to three dental technicians, just 10 of us" the dental specialist revealed.
He went further to explain that his vision as the leader of that sector, he had offered suggestions to successive administrations to establish a dental hospital in the state, and establish a comprehensive dental centres in each of the Senatorial Districts, and oral health centres in every Local Government Area in the state."
Dr. Solomon Sagbe who started work as a dentist in Rivers State and came over to Bayelsa said, he was full of hope for the state, considering her position as a virgin land that had the advantages of development at all the sectors of health care delivery, especially dentistry.
 Looking into the future of the practice he stated thus:
"Most of us are not in active practice... the only persons now practicing are just three, one in Government House Specialist Hospital, one in Diete Koki Hospital and one in Niger Delta University  Teaching Hospital,  Because of lack awareness, some people don't know that Bayelsa has dental facilities; hence some go to Rivers and Delta states for dentistry, they use to ask them and direct them to come back to us. "
To sustain the practice of dentistry in the state, Dr. Sagbe called on the students of Bayelsa state within Nigeria and in the diaspora to study dentistry which he said is an open door for easy employment.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

COMRADE GBASSA CONDEMNS GOV. DICKSON, WARNS AGAINST SACK OF WORKERS By Evans Tubonah

Comrade Ebiserikumoh Gbasa
A Bayelsa based Human Rights Activist in the Niger Delta Region, South/South Nigeria, Comrade Ebiserikumoh Gbasa had condemned the Governor of Bayelsa state, Henry Strike Dickson over what he described as indiscriminate sack of civil servants in the state.
Ghasa who spoke with the Golden Pen Newspaper in the state capitalYenagoa, said, that the governor's action was illegal and unconstitutional and should be reversed without delay or else he will commit suicide.
Comrade Gbasa who is a social justice crusader stated that over five hundred (500) civil service workers have been sacked without reasons, without query and against the Civil Service Rules in Nigeria and across the world. He spoke with the Golden Pen in these words:
"My anger with Governor Dickson today is that, he has put Bayelsa in a pathetic situation. The Henry Seriake Dickson government has a destructive agenda against our people; workers, pensioners and contractors alike. And that has even transcend down to the children including old people, the pregnant women, and so many people have died..."
Comrade Gbasa graphically explained how  the Dickson government brazenly sacked the innocent workers  at various sectors, saying that:
"The Governor, Seriake Dickson has without reason, and illegally, and unconstitutionally removed over 3, 000 workers of the state. Over 1000 staff of Sanitation Authority, especially those who go to work 4.a.m. to clean our major roads, Niger Delta Television (NDTV), 3/4 of the workers have been laid off, Radio Bayelsa the same way, 3/4 sacked.
In the Niger Delta University (NDU), more than 2000 none academic staff are being forcefully transferred to another University a private University owned by Governor Dickson called African University. Since Seriake Dickson came...they have not carried out genuine recruitment exercise except through the government house. He is laying off people, he is recruiting in the back, his relations, his cronies."
Comrade Gbasa who noted with concern, stated that it's like the state is under the rules of 'a draconian law', while the governor goes around Nigeria to buy awards., and that he promised to turn Bagels to Dubai but Bayelsans have not seen anything near Dubai, not even Port Harcourt, mile One Diobu is better, the Human and People's Rights Activist and Social Justice crusader, called on the governor to call back the workers to save many from going to graves early.
Hear this:
"I don't know when government business  become a one man business, Today, some people amongst the civil servants have taken snyper (poison) and died, some pensioners who over 2years have not receive their pensions and gratuities and contractors  that were denied payment, suffer, like the contractors that built ecumenical centre at Igbogene, he had not been paid fully. If you demand for your money, they use police to chase you away"
Comrade Gbasa said the sacking of the workers was wrong and should be 're-visited in earnest, because , as he puts it:
"There is nothing like that in the Civil Service Rules and Regulations, for government to massively sack workers. Those that are due retire,ment, let them go genuinely.Don't treat them like fowl or goat. Call them back and restore back their hope, confidence and dignity. If this is not done, I will commit suicide" Comrade Gbasa threatened.
When Golden Pen Newspaper visited the office of the Head of Service, Rev. Thomas Zidafamor, to have clarification on the matter, he was said to have been very busy, but in a telephone interaction reacted sharply thus:
"Did you not listen to the radio broadcast by the governor? The governor had said all about it, and his line went off..."
In a related development, Golden Pen Newspaper also visited the office of the Chairman of the state Civil Service Commission, Dr. Peter Singabele who said:
 Sorry, I can't talk now, I have a meeting with the deputy governor, you come next week."
All efforts to reach other government officials for their comments proved abortive.


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

A FRONTLINE JOURNALIST HARPS ON MEDIA INDEPENDENCE/ OBJECTIVITY- Evans Tubonah

Kola Oredipe from right, with Evans Tubonah left
The Chairman of the Federated Chapel of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State, Comrade Kola Oredipe has called on media practitioners to hold tenaciously to  the professional tenets of independence and objectivity.
Comrade Oredipe, who is the Sub-Editor with Radio Nigeria in Bayelsa State, made the call while exchanging vies with the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Golden Pen Newspaper, Chief Otonye Evans Tubonah who visited him in his office, in Yenagoa.
Looking critically into the practice of journalism, Comrade Oredipe noted that whereas,  the Nigerian media is growing side by side with her peers across the world, turning inward, he said, the practice today as compared to what obtained, the ethics and professionalism years ago had dropped tremendously. Hear him:-
"You still refer to those early Journalists as the fathers of the profession, the value they brought into the profession is not what people are seeing today, that may be a question to ask, what had changed between that time and now?
 I think it's a reflection of the Nigerian economy, now...journalists are more exposed to corruption, a lot of journalists are also getting appointments, you can see the dynamics that came with the practice; but in those days they held the ethics so dearly. That is the challenge that we have now"
Speaking further on standards and  ethics, he noted that the standards and ethics of the profession had dropped which he attributed to state of the economy that had adversely affected media organizations not being able to pay their workers which according to him, had made some practitioners to compromise.
Kola Oredipe, said,
"it is not enough just to give an I.D card to journalist and to say, 'take,  this is your mail ticket',  and expect such journalist who has a family to cater for, and other siblings depending on him not exposed to corruption nor have ethical and or professional challenges. He however expressed confidence in some journalists who he said cannot compromise position no matter what! Hear this:-
"But I know that there are still journalists who can stand up and say... I stand with integrity, abide by the ethics, the code of conduct of the profession, trying to be fair and objective in their reportage, and with that we can say the media is still independent..."
He noted with concern that the Nigerian nation had not given the Media her rightful position in the scheme of things, he bared his mind to Golden Pen Newspapers in these words:-
"The three arms of Government, namely, the Executive arm, Legislative arm, and the Judiciary, see the journalist as a spy, so, they are never comfortable to see journalists around them, and it's very simple in the Nigerian system, because they feel that they are doing something that they don't want other people to see, and when they hear that a journalist is around, they feel very uncomfortable.
 "How can we grow the democracy without the media? We owe the people a lot in terms of information. What is happening in government, we owe the people, it's our duty to tell them this man holding public office should be accountable to the people, and it is through the channel of the media that the information and reports will come..."
Comrade Kola Oredipe posited.
Still spitting fire against the three arms of government: the Executive, the Legislative arm, and the Judicial arm, the frontline journalist stated that, the trio have given no space to the Media in the Nigerian system in the practice of freedom of expression, freedom to report, freedom of association which he said tantamount  trampling upon the constitutional functions of the media as the watch dog of the society.
 He described as unreasonable to sideline the media under whatever system of government and called on the authority at all levels to acknowledge the fact that, the media practitioners are all part of the Nigerian federation and that whatever happen to other Nigerians also happen to them.
He therefore called on the three arms of government to accommodate the fourth estate of the realm, the media,  to achieve cohesiveness in nation building, in our country.
Comrade Kola Oredipe's final word to the media on this encounter is a call on practitioners to maintain their professional independence in the report of factual news, maintain their integrity so as to be a reference point as to truthfulness and objectivity in  the noble profession, while warning against the media or some practitioners becoming a willing tools in the hands of other organizations or personalities.