Thursday, 7 February 2019

MY MANIFESTO IS WRITTEN ON THE FACES OF THE YOUTHS, MEN AND WOMEN OF BAYELSA EAST
----INIRUO WILLS
Ahead of the February 16 general elections, the people of Nembe-Bassambiri have thrown their weight behind the senatorial bid of Hon Iniruo Owazi Wills, describing him as one of the finest and credible candidates in the race.
Hundreds of youths, women, elders and leaders of the community poured out into the streets to welcome one of their own who like his father, the late Edward Owazi Wills, has over the years put smiles on the faces of the people through various development initiatives.
As Will's entourage glided through the town, Saturday, shouts of elation and joy split the air with resounding assurances victory.
The Paramount ruler of the community and Chairman Council of Chiefs, Chief S. D. Ben-Koru while receiving the Bayelsa East Senatorial Transformation (BEST) Team, described Iniruo Owazi Wills as a man of peace who, based on antecedents , would promote the interests of the community when elected.
He recalled that during the 2003 elections, the community lost a sizeable number of graduates to political violence and called on all candidates from the community to embrace peace to avoid a repeat of history.
Chief Ben-Koru observed that given that there were other  Senatorial candidates from the community, his cabinet was already working out modalities to get all the candidates to sign a peace accord which would bind and guide their conduct throughout the elections and that anyone who did not keep the peace would be held responsible for the breach.
He advised all the senatorial candidates from the community to explore the window of coming together and joining forces to adopt a single candidate in order to trounce the opponents.
Earlier, the Senatorial candidate for Bayelsa East on the platform of Labour Party, Hon Iniruo Owazi Wills had stated that the visit was part of efforts to build support for his candidacy and to to formally inform his primary constituency.
He said he was motivated to join the race when he realised that poor representation of the Senatorial district had, over the years, cost the area huge environmental, economic and infrastructural deficit.
He said he is therefore offering himself to provide incomparable quality representation at the Senate to change the narrative and advance the interests of the zone which he described as the premier senatorial district but which nonetheless has remained under the painful grip of underdevelopment due to inept leadership.
"From 1999 to 2019 is 20 years and enough time for us to take stock of our achievements as a people and to ask ourselves if we are making progress or not. We need to ask ourselves if we are satisfied with the kind of representation we have had. This is not a manifesto night. But travelling from Yenagoa through Ogbia to Nembe with all the bad roads and the clear absence of critical infrastructure for our people , the manifesto is written all over the senatorial district on the faces of our youths.. This is the manifesto; the biting poverty, the poor roads, the unemployment, and in some cases absence of roads...am not canvassing for small incremental progress. We have been made to believe that better life is not possible, that our youths should continue to be jobless. But this is not true. We have come to say the BEST is possible. "
He said the Senatorial project for him was not just a political ambition but rather a movement that is sweeping across the entire zone with the youths, women, students and community stakeholders and influences being critical stakeholders and volunteering support to bring about lasting transformation and development of the area.
Wills who is a lawyer and environmental rights activist, remarked that in order  to achieve this knowledge was key as according to him "When there is lack of knowledge beggars will ride and princes will walk on foot. "
He noted that by virtue of the political and historical place of Bayelsa East in the political economy of Nigeria, the zone ought to have witnessed the kind of development obtainable in highly developed cities such as Dubai where Sheiks or traditional rulers were ranked among high net worth individuals .
The former Information commmisioner recalled that all through his adult life he had been involved in community service beginning from the struggle for recognition of his hometown Oluasiri as host community to Shell and as Legal Adviser to the Nembe se Council of Chiefs and as Special Assistant to the Managing Director of NDDC where he attracted several projects to Nembe and Ogbia including  roads, such as the Yenagoa-Ogbia-Nembe Road as well as shore protection in Ogbolomabiri and Bassambiri.
He disclosed that he is currently representing Nembe in a matter involving OML 29, the largest onshore oil field in Nigeria with a 120,000 barrels per day production capacity to get the operators relocate their head office from Lagos to Nembe, the host community among other fair demands, in line with global practise.
He stated that part of the reasons for the growing spate of violence in the Niger Delta was the lack of jobs for the youths whilst the resources from the area have been deployed elsewhere in Lagos to build the first, second, third and now fourth mainland bridges at extremely huge cost, emphasising that such clear injustices must be stopped through non-violence means.
"So the mandate of getting our people actively involved in economic activities is what I've come to seek so that we can draw infrastructural projects to Bayelsa East...politics is about interest and we must stand up to say before  the budget is passed each year certain projects that are due to our people must be captured," he explained
He said the people of Nembe, Ogbia and Brass were highly industrious even during the colonial era as the area was then known as Oil Rivers Protectorate which depicted the huge volume of transatlantic trade in palm oil and other goods but regretted that today even with the historic commercial discovery of crude oil in the area, the people still suffered untold economic hardship and environmental pollution.
He said it was time for Nigeria and the oil multinationals to say thank you to Ogbia, Nembe, Brass and Akassa people of Bayelsa East for feeding her and not getting anything in return but pain and suffering due to poor representation.
He said he was part of efforts to bring the Nigeria Agip Oil Company to justice for the continuous discharge of harmful produce water into the Brass Canal for over 45 years.
Wills thanked the Council of Chiefs for receiving him at short notice and promised to continue delivering quality service to his fatherland when elected.

The Bayelsa State chairman of the Labour Party, LP,  Mr Ebiowei Olomu while handing over the official campaign banner of the BEST team to the paramount ruler, thanked the chiefs and people of Bassambiri for the rousing welcome and expressed hope that Iniruo Wills will win the Senatorial polls come February 16, 2019.
2019: THE RISING FORTUNES OF INIRUO WILLS IN THE RACE FOR BAYELSA EAST

                                              By Famous Obebi Famous

A new dawn is imminent in Bayelsa State. It's a New beginning. As the curtains open, and the fierce contest for who represents the people of Ogbia, Nembe and Brass gathers momentum,  the journey to lasting transformation of Bayelsa East Senatorial district is ,to say the least, finally in sight. After many years of failed leadership manifesting in environmental pollution, blistering economic hardship, youth unemployment and growing poverty and misery index, a beacon of hope, at last, glimmers in the horizon.

To all intents and purposes, the position would be keenly contested. And with it the many sublime intrigues, legerdemains and striking melodrama of deft and suave political manoeuvrings and machinations. Interestingly enough, all the candidates are from the Nembe speaking group in the senatorial district, making the contest even more captivating. A beauty parade of the candidates is revealing. Four of the major contenders hail from Bassambiri-Nembe and one from
1. Hon. Iniruo Owazi Wills (of the Labour Party), a lawyer and former Commissioner for Information and Environment, and a renowned environmentalist who hails from Bassambiri.
2.  Senator Barigha Amange  of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) from Ogbolomabiri.
3. Chief Degi Biobarakuma Eremienyo (of the All Progressives Congress), a former Director in the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) from Bassambiri.
4. Mr. Opuala Charles a former Commissioner for Finance under  the administration of former Governor Timipre Silva, also from Bassambiri and who is contesting on the platform of Accord Party.
5. Chief Blessing Ipigansi Izagara of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) who hails from Okoroba in Bassambiri.

All the candidates have rolled up their sleeves and have commenced intensive deployment of diverse campaign strategies to win the hearts of the voters and other key stakeholders in order to emerge victorious. The question on the lips of everyone is who will clinch the coveted seat? Will the next Senator come from Ogbolomabiri which has had a shot at the Red Chamber once with former Senator Amange or will it go to Bassambiri which is presently fielding four candidates and is strongly desirous of clinching the position in the coming elections? Political strategists opine that there is need for the four Bassambiri candidates to forge a common front and produce a single candidate ahead of the elections.

There is no gainsaying that far from being a rehash of the 2015 elections the 2019 general elections will be a political watershed. Voter attitude and preferences, it is argued, are expected to change materially. This year, people are more likely to vote credible candidates as opposed to political parties. What's more, despite the age-old tradition of approaching voters with pecuniary inducement on election day, it is unlikely if this stereotyped strategy is going to yield significant results either.

A cross section of the electorate express the view that this time it will definitely not be business as usual. They are prepared to collect whatever monies the political gladiators funnel into the system. But they have vowed solemnly never again to sell their conscience, like Esau for a mess of pottage which often meant to live with the pain, misery and suffering for another four years. Certainly, the chickens have come home to roost and a Daniel has come to judgement.


But even so; as all the candidates jostle for space, there is an incredible groundswell of acceptance of the candidature of Iniruo Wills who came in at the eleventh hour of the game but surprisingly has gained remarkable political mileage and acquired enormous political capital.  Many persons believe, Iniruo Wills is the game changer and has the priceless character of Odili, the protagonist in Chinua Achebe's "A man of the People. Iniruo is a lawyer with combined experience in public service, private legal practice, consulting and development advocacy.

He  first served as Commissioner for Information, Bayelsa State in 1999 before being appointed as Commissioner for Environment in 2014 after an earlier two-year stint as Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment.

His entry into the race has ruffled quite a lot of feathers and stirred the hornets nest as he took the whole district by storm with every community now lining up on his side and dramatically depleting whatever political capital that had accrued to the other candidates.

But this is hardly surprising to those familiar with history. Barrister Iniruo Owazi Wills is a chip off the old bloc, a scion of his father, Late Edward Owazi Wills who was a renowned philanthropist, politician and elder statesman. During his lifetime he contributed enormously in improving the lot of the Nembe speaking people in diverse fronts. It is said that his influence and exploits as a politician was far flung, spanning across the vast expanse of the Atlantic to Akassa and even Ogbia. Late Owazi Wills' opened the floodgates of political advancement and relevance for his people. And today his son, Iniruo Owazi Wills is probably riding on that success to victory at the polls if the elections are conducted peacefully and creditably.

But it is not only his father's pedigree that is speaking for him. Iniruo Owazi Wills, true to type, has carved a niche for himself with over three decades of community service and pro bono representation of his people in various legal matters.

Like his father, he epitomizes forthrightness, and like his dad, he first started in his own village of Oluasiri where, as a young lawyer, fresh from Law School in1988 he was involved in series of meetings with Shell Petroleum Development Company in pursuit of environmental justice for his people. It is on record that during such meetings, Iniruo Wills was the only member of the team who would refuse to take the mouth watery envelopes offered by the oil multinational at the end of the meetings. Like the man in Ayi Kwei Armah's Beautyful Ones are not yet born, he was said to have bluntly refused to sacrifice the welfare of his people for filthy lucre. Today,  several decades later, this is the message he is still passing to the voters and the gospel he is still preaching to anyone who cares to listen.

This rare display of excellent stewardship was to earn him election to serve as the pioneer secretary of Bayelsa State Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association years later in 1997. Since then he has been involved in a lot of community, social pro bono services including member, Rivers and Bayelsa States Joint Committee on Restructuring/Privatization of Jointly Owned Investments in October 1998 and Chairman, Strategy and Analysis Committee Legal Adviser Nembe Se Congress (formerly Nembe-Ibe Road Projects Group)
He has been in the forefront for focused advocacy and action for roads and general development of Bayelsa State from March 2003 to date and member, Oluasiri-Nembe Clan Advisory Council.

To be sure, he has been involved in pursuit of legal redress for several landmark environmental breaches [Brass Kingdom (Re: Brass Terminal/Canal), Nembe-Bassambiri Kingdom (OML29), Egi Clan (OML 58), Oluasiri-Nembe Clan, and Bayelsa State Government).
Also, his strategic engagement on behalf of major host communities/stakeholders for integration into petroleum industry value chain to wit, [Nembe-Bassambiri Kingdom (OML29), Egi Clan (OML 58), Oluasiri-Nembe Clan and Bayelsa State Government has greatly endeared him to not just Bayelsa East but the Niger Delta as a whole.

As Legal Adviser of the Nembe Se Congress, he was instrumental to the eventual construction of the Yenagoa-Ogbia-Nembe Road which has hugely transformed the Nembe communities and enhanced socioeconomic development.

He was first appointed by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson as Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment. But it was not long before his sterling exemplary qualities stood him out for elevation to a full-fledged Commissioner. As Commissioner for Environment and Chairman, Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Environment, he is fondly remembered for his seminal papers on Integration of the Niger Delta in Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry as well as initiating programmes such as the environmental assessment, advocacy and enforcement in  in Bayelsa State, the Bayelsa State Green Partnership Programme, the Niger Delta Climate Resilience Initiative and, of course, the Reform Outline for Waste Management Sub-Sector

Quite expectedly, his tenure was marked by a more robust and continuous engagement with Oil Industry on Pollution Control/Disaster Risk Reduction.

As Commissioner for Information, under Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha he played a leading role in the completion and commissioning of the indigenous Radio Station, the Bayelsa State Broadcasting Corporation.

He is the President of the Ijaw Professionals Association (Homeland Chapter)  covering Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta States and played a key role in developing the first ever draft Code of Ethics, Leadership and Governance for public office holders. The Code which is expected to bind public officers to minimum acceptable thresholds of service delivery and accountability is expected to be adopted by the Ijaw homeland and by and large, the larger geo-political space.

Not satisfied with the leadership and governance drawbacks in the state, Wills co-convened G24 Embasara Foundation, a Leadership and Governance Initiative that is primarily concerned with promoting the emergence of quality leaders at all levels of governance. He is a stickler for community welfare which informed his decision that when elected he will deploy legislative advocacy and activism to fasttrack development of his people including ensuring that pipeline surveillance jobs are given to the host communities as well as ensuring the swift passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill which will bring about prosperity and happiness of host communities through the establishment of the Host Community Fund.

In throwing his hat into the ring, he has consistently maintained that he was motivated principally by the need to provide incomparable and matchless representation for his people as opposed to selfish personal motives of enrichment which usually  characterises ambitions of several politicians.

Uppermost in his mind as he eyes the Red Chamber is the burning desire to stop the pollution of the environment, ensure adequate compensation and reparation for the people of Ogbia where the first commercial Oil well was discovered in June 1956, promote quality and affordable education for the youths and ending the growing unemployment and cultism ravaging the social fabric of Yenagoa as well as attracting big ticket, high impact, catalytic investments to the Senatorial zone such as the multi-billion Brass LNG and Brass Fertilizer Complex.

He insists that the Federal Government and the oil multinationals owe Oloibiri and the larger Ogbia space a huge debt which they must pay.

Of course, Iniruo Owazi Wills believes that  the right leadership is required for sustained conversations around Corporate Social Responsibility of oil multinationals in their host communities.

He has a zero tolerance for corruption. Unlike many politicians, it is a hard row to hoe to buy him over with money. Which explains why many persons say he will be able to hold his high among other members of the Red Chamber and defend, protect the rights of the senatorial district when elected.

His philosophy and political ideology draws extensively from Vilfredo Pareto the Italian Welfarist Economist who espoused the need to weigh options carefully to ensure that no one is made worse off but at least someone is made better off in project implementation. He has continued to preach peace and insist on peaceful and credible conduct of the elections. Significantly, the signing of the Peace Accord by candidates in Ogbolomabiri-Nembe may well be a good omen signalling the begining of an era of mutual co-operation in the hitherto restive flash point.

As it were, Bayelsa is, arguably, the petroleum pollution capital of the world. This is a negative distinction that must be quickly done away with. There is need to build community based economic capacity and ensure strict adherence to internationally accepted environmental and ecological safety practises. This is one of so many elements Iniruo has set out to achieve.

Accordingly, he attributes the rising insecurity in the state to the lack of firm commitment to create jobs for the youths, a challenge which he notes, must be resolved as soon as possible.
At a recent courtesy visit to His Eminence King Dumaro Charles Owaba, Paramount ruler of Ogbia Kingdom, Wills remarked: "These are some of the issues that motivated me to be part of the process to change the narrative. My solemn  commitment is that by the Grace of God and support of the Ogbia, Nembe and Brass people we can together make this happen"

He points out that at the centre of the problems confronting the zone lies the absence of a people centred leadership and quality representation at the Senate and other leadership levels and that the people of Bayelsa East must rise up to the challenge and take up the gauntlet.

"We ourselves have the challenge to decide the kind of leadership we get going forward, who are going to represent us at the negotiating table. What we make of that decision will go a long way in determining our future; whether we truly want to secure the future,"he says.

He is concerned that for over 70 years the Yenagoa-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road conceived in 1946 is still work in progress and chides the authorities for the clear lack of political will and focus to construct the road.

He said, "There are several road projects in our areas which were promised but never delivered to us.  The Otuegila-Amorokeni-Emaguo-Oluasiri Road is one of them. We need a representative that will be able to articulate the needs of the zone and strategically take steps to ensure that real development gets to our people in the grassroots and in all humility I believe I have these qualities.  We are at the threshold of history to decide whether we would continue like this or we want a quantum leap-as opposed to incremental change-comparable only to that of the Ancient Tigers like Singapore."

The way forward, according to him is "for us to renegotiate our economic survival. It's possible to draw down on the benefits and resources we have as a people but the world is moving towards renewable energy. If that day comes upon us say in a few decades from now,  the question is where do we stand? "

Wills knows his onions and has an excellent grasp of the workings of the legislature. He will bring this to bear in ensuring that federal budget captures line items that will cascade infrastructural development to his constituency, and create jobs. Already in collaboration with the Bio-resource training center, Odi he has commenced training of youths in enterprise development and skill acquisition. He hopes to do more when elected.
He will by legislation, remodel the public education system and make it more functional. He will ensure strict oversight of key institutions with direct impact on the Niger Delta and . He intends to achieve all this and more including making a stronger case for an end to environmental pollution, by maintaining constant touch with his people back home and lobbying other distinguished members to call errant public officials and institutions to order.

So far, with his Campaign train gathering steam and key segment of the voter population particularly the youths, students, women groups and the civil society groups jumping on the bandwagon without the slightest push, Barrister Iniruo Wills is definitely the candidate to beat as the clock ticks to the zero hour on February 16.

Indeed, his desire for the transformation of Bayelsa East finds expression in his clear articulation of the issues affecting his people. He would like to see a situation where the politicians become loyal to the youths rather than the unacceptable practise where youths strive daily even at the expense of their lives, to be loyal to politicians who do not care two hoots about the future of the youths. He, therefore,  believes that the youths should align themselves with Civil Society to form what he describes as a Citizen Movement to promote the right societal values.

He is a partner in the Port Harcourt-based law firm of Ntephe, Smith and Wills and maintains a strong interest in public governance and development issues.

Mr. Wills worked closely with the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission for close to a decade, as Special Assistant to the Managing Director (earlier on Executive Director, Finance and Administration) of the Commission.

Honourable Iniruo Wills sits on the board of several top-notch companies including Afrigrants Resources Ltd (a Social Enterprise Development Firm, the Strategic Summits Enterprises (Development Conferences/Consulting firm and Advisory Board Representative for Africa, Power Law Committee of the International Bar Association.

He has written several position papers on the Niger Delta including Repositioning the Niger Delta as the Economic Hub of Nigeria: The Strategic Fundamentals,  Nigeria’s Presidential Amnesty Programme: Ensuring Security and Stability in the Niger Delta and Gulf of Guinea, Stakeholder Briefing Note on the Petroleum Industry  Bill and the Niger Deltaand The Ijaw Environment: Appraising the Socio-Economic and Security Threats.

There's a strong consensus among a large number of Bayelsans that with the outcome of the party primaries in the two dominant political parties smeared with allegations of impositions of candidates by godfathers, Barrister Iniruo Wills comes across as the dark horse and the jocker card which the electorate is going to play against those whose stock in trade has been to hold the state by the jugular and decide the fate of babies even before they are born.

From a slow, late and steady start,  the Wills Campaign Organisation has taken over Bayelsa East, gathering momentum and upstaging the calculations of his opponents.

Undoubtedly, the rising fortunes of Iniruo Owazi Wills in the build up to the Senatorial elections for Bayelsa East come February 16, is an abiding testimony that the Bayelsa East Transformation (BEST) project is, indeed, possible and that only the BEST candidate can indeed, reverse the troubling narrative of economic, social and environmental injustices faced by the people.

The scriptural prophetic validation that the first ultimately shall be the last and the last, first is speedily coming true in Bayelsa East, with Barrister Iniruo Wills set to deliver quality representation if and when he wins the 2019 Senate polls.
Many Bayelsans believe that Wills will win.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

THANKS TO AITEO FOR TIMELY INTERVENTION OPU NEMBE COUNCIL OF CHIEFS BY VICTOR EVANS


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AITEO Boss Benedict Peters  

 
The Opu Nembe Bassambiri Chiefs Council has expressed gratitude to the management of the international oil mogul, the ATTEO GROUP for extending her warm hand of fellowship to the community in her time of need.
Speaking to Golden Pen News Online Global Information Managers And News Breakers, in Opu Nembe, the Secretary to the Light Committee Chief Promise Ebinimi Nyoun-Inetimi described the ALTEO Group as a responsible company that understands the problems and fixes the needs of her host communities.
This is coming at the heels of supply of a brand new, electricity power generating plant, Saturday 2nd February 2019 by the management of AITEO to the people of Opu Nembe Bassambiri kingdom.
It would be recalled that the community had suffered unfavorable conditions due to malfunctions of the two worn out power generators that illuminated the community before their total breakdown.
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Chief Promise Nyoum Inetimi
 Secretary Light Committee
With this move, Chief Inetimi expressed the hope that the AITEO Group will not shy away from implementing the Memorandum Of Understanding (M.O.U) between Opu Nembe Bassambiri and the company, emphasizing that someday the dreams of Opu Nembe having a gas plant or being connected to a gas plant by AITEO will become a reality.
He used the medium to thank the Oil and Gas Committee of the Council led by Senior Chief B.J Kantee-Isere through whose effective co-ordination the bridges of unity and partnership is being built between the community and the company, Chief Inetimi emphasized.
The Opu Nembe Bassambiri Community had watched with interest the rising profile of the AITEO Group in service delivery and community relations as it’s  Founder/Leader  Benedict Peters won the prestigious African Icon of the year Award of Foreign Investment Network (FIN). An Award he received at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja.
Describing the Award as well deserved the Opu Nembe Bassambiri Chiefs who lauded the  “…vision of AITEO for: Mining, Agriculture, Infrastructure development,Electricity generation and distribution, focused on servicing the needs of communities across the continent…” assured of partnership with the company..

Monday, 4 February 2019

CHIEF ISERE DENIES ALLEGATION OF TAKING ANOTHER CHIEFTAINCY TITLE CALLS IT A LIE

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Senior Chief B.J Kantee Isere

As rumor peddlers went to town with a fake news that the 4th most Senior Chief in the Opu Nembe-Bassambiri Council of Chiefs, Chief B.J.Kantee-Isere had concluded plans to dump his title to take another title in a neighboring community, and to verify the authenticity of the damaging rumor, Golden Pen Newspaper took a bold step, met with Chief Isere for an interview.Excerpts:
   Evans Tubonah is my name, I came to have one on one interview with you, but before we start, would you tell the readers your name?
Ans: My name is Okosi Alablo B.J.Kantee Isere of the Opu Nembe Bassambiri Chiefs council.
Question: There is a story making the rounds that you who have been a Chief, Chief Isere precisely, in the Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs,  had concluded plans to drop that title and to take another at the opposite side, Ogbolomabiri, Nembe City and that you have already built a house there and will soon pack over after the purported Chieftaincy title and ceremonies are done, what would you  say about that?
Ans: I have been a Chief for almost thirty years (30yrs) Now currently I am like the number four (NO 4) in the line of most senior Chiefs in the Opu Nembe Bassambiri Council of Chiefs and Kingdom.
Currently two of my senior Chiefs Epemu and  Aladede are very old, they hardly attend meetings, and whenever Chief L B Kanlango Kariyai is also absent in a meeting or any gathering of the Chiefs, I  become the most senior Chief in the Opu Nembe Bassambiri Council of Chiefs which has one hundred and fifty members.
     Yes! I heard the rumors myself.  Everybody has right to peddle any rumor and there is an adage in Nembe “Okumo erefabo-tingha” ( the drum does not call a person who has no name), which means that people don’t talk about someone that is not popular.  I think I have contributed so much to the development of my kingdom the Opu Nembe Bassambiri Kingdom in particular and the Nembe Ethnic Nationality in general.  The rumor mongers only used my name to peddle their rumors to pass their time, and if that make them happy its O.K, but the truth is that I am not moving from Chief Isere to any other title.
I am not just a Chief I am the King of “Isere-Ama” (Isere’s Town), and I am a Chief in the Opu-Nembe Bassambiri Chiefs Council and Kingdom from the Oluasiri axis of the Kingdom. All of us are aware that Oluasiri is where we have the Gas plant, where we have the big Petroleum/Gas resources, how and why Should I leave all these privileges and opportunities and  go to another community or kingdom to take a Chieftaincy title there?
Even though I am maternally related to Ogbolomabiri, from the Amain House in Nembe City, Ogbolomabiri, naturally I am entitled to any Chieftaincy title there, but for someone that had served for thirty years (30 YRS) as a Chief and not just a Chief but  someone that is popular, and  very responsible. Why will I leave my father’s name Chief Isere, if I do so, am I going up or down? So it’s not true, it’s not true at all, and it can never be true!
Ques : Can you digress a little bit on that , because some have said that you have already built a house to relocate,  could you please digress?
Ans: Yes! I am building a house at Ogbolomabiri, because a part of my mother is from Ogbolomabiri the Atubu family, and we are like the aborigines of Nembe kingdom, being descendants of the Obolo group, and Obolo  are the first sets of descendants before all the other big names we are hearing. The Obolo were the original Nembe people and I am a member of that family.
And if for any reason, my family members have a land for me, I think l should have the right to build a house there for my people. My people are not slaves, and nobody has the right to say I shouldn’t build a house for us it is our entitlement some of my people use Ogbolomabiri more than Bassambiri and if God has blessed me I should be free to build a house wherever, especially in my place, that’s why am building that house, and not at all for any Chieftaincy title.
In Nembe today, you hardly find family lands, lands are allocated to people in the sand filled areas, but this land was given to me by the people in my family. And the land is inside the town, it is not in the sand filled area; so I should be free to build house especially for a land given to me by my family.
Question: You said, you have been a Chief for thirty years now, that is quite a journey, as an elderly Chief can you tell the public about Nembe Ethnic Nationality? What are the cities and Kingdoms that make the Nembe Ethnic Nation?
Ans: The Nembe Ethnic Nationality is made up of the following Kingdoms:
We have the Opu Nembe Bassambiri Kingdom, we have the Nembe City Kingdom, we have the Twon-Brass Kingdom, we have the Okpoama Kingdom and we have the Odioma Kingdom. All these Kingdoms make up the Nembe Ethnic Nationality.
Ques: Now, to those born into more than one of these Kingdoms, what are the challenges in terms of relations.
Ans: Naturally Nembe Tradition is matrilineal, most of the people take their Chieftaincy titles from their mothers families, some take titles from their fathers families. I was one that took my title from my father’s family.  I took the title that bears my father’s name, most Chiefs bear names that are different from their father’s names.
But my name, I mean, the title I bear is on my certificates and on my account books. We were many entitled to the stool and I was the youngest. I became Chief when I was twenty two years (22 years) a Chief from my father’s side, bearing my father’s name and I cannot change my name, my prestigious Chieftaincy title, Isere to any other name or title..
Ques: To someone who becomes a chief or king in any part of the Nembe Kingdoms, a descendant of more than a kingdom, is he forbidden from embarking on any project outside the kingdom in which he is a Chief or King?
Ans: There is no law restricting anyone from building a house anywhere. if you are a Chief in either your father’s side or mother’s side, you also have right to relate with the other side.
Sometimes to even preside over meetings when the substantive Chief is not there, which is your right because if you were chosen Chief in your mother’s side, you would be  expected to do same. And if you have the resources to build houses everywhere, the places you came from you are free, there is no restriction on where you will build a house
Ques: Are you saying there is nothing wrong with that?
Yes! There is nothing wrong and I am not the first Chief that had built a house to honour his mother, while he is a Chief at his father’s side. People have been building. I am not the first and cannot be the last.
Ques: As a senior Chief, in-fact being the 4th most senior Chief in the 150 members Chiefs council of the Opu Nembe Bassambiri Kingdom, Chief Isere sir, can you give the names of some of the most senior  Chiefs you met at your induction?
Ans: I met grandfathers as Chiefs, all those I met I was the youngest, and that time we were not more than 15 members of the Opu Nembe Bassambiri Council of Chiefs. And all they that were chiefs before me, the minimum years of seniority was over 25yrs above me .
We had Chief Peddie N Ibifa, Chief Otimi Oguara Kalabo, Chief Gibson Orunengimo, Chief Albert Doibo Ogbu, Chief Aaron Epemu who should be going to about 100 years of age now and Chief Febo. Out of these names some of those stools have changed occupants 3 or 4 times, because those I met had died, and others have come.
For example Kakango,  I think this is the third Kalango have seen, I have also seen the third Kalabo the one I met was Otimi Oguara Kalabo, who was supposed to be my grandfather, I met another Dokubo who became Kalabo, now we have Nimi Dambo as Chief Kalabo so we were just 15 but now 150 you can see  the difference, so  many young Chiefs were installed by their families, because of my outstanding performance as the youngest Chief then.
I worked very well with the senior Chiefs and everybody reasoned that if Chief Isere could work so committedly with the senior Chiefs let us appoint young people as Chiefs instead of appointing the elderly whose performance may be.
So, I was like a trail blazer that brought young people to sit on the stools of our old fathers.
Ques: Chief Isere you have spoken about Opu Nembe Bassambiri Council of Chiefs, what can you tell us about the Nembe Divisional Council of Chiefs?
Ans: initially when I became a Chief I also became a member of the Nembe  Divisional Council of Chiefs, that council comprises of Chiefs from Eguema,Liama,Belefiema, Twon-Brass Okpoama, Odioma, Ogbolomabiri  now Opu Nembe Agrisaba and Okoroba.
That was the Council of Nembe Nationality we are talking about, but one of the communities wanted to be lord over the rest of the communities, they wanted to claim the name Nembe to themselves, which they know was not right, they wanted to claim it, they had the tendency of seeing every person as an inferior person. People got annoyed and started leaving the union  Okpoama left the union, Opu Nembe Bassambiri left the union, Agrisaba, Okoroba and all the other axis left, we separated, while we supposed to be together in one council.
Ques: There is another union which you belong how do you call that?
Ans: when we separated, we now formed the Nembe-Ibe/Mini Council of Chiefs and we are doing well.
Ques: That we are very backward talking about development, what is the reason behind our backwardness?
Ans: The major factor I can say is, in-fighting, communal fighting we are supposed to be a united people because we are from the same root, but for greed or  whatever we started fighting each other so that unity to the common good of communities and the Nembe nation is no longer there. One of the assets we have as a people is that we own the lands that produce, what gives money to Nigeria, the crude oil and gas.
We have the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at Oluasiri, also caked Soku Gas plant, which is in the territories of Opu Nembe-Bassambiri  Kingdom, we have the Nembe creek flow station Bassambiri flow station and so many flow stations.
But because the people are not coming together to ask for anything, development has not been coming as expected. Even the Federal and State Governments use the division between us to deprive us of infrastructural development.
The truth is that we are our own problem, as far as we cannot come together and ask for our development from the centre. The centre I mean are the state and the Federal Governments. They are not magicians and they cannot remember the people until you tell them what you need before you receive due attention.
As oil producing areas we are entitled to so much money coming to us even through the  13% derivation funds to give us the much desired infrastructural development; if we were speaking in one voice.
We know how much money comes into our state now, from our own production, but they don’t give us anything, and nobody can talk to the governors that have ruled the state and the nation, because we are not united.
Ques: the 2019 elections are around the corner, Nembe had been a flash point in past elections what message do you have for the people now ?
Ans: Actually Nembe generally  has been a flash point and Nembe Bassambiri  also had her portion of been a flash point, for so many years before now, but  recently when some of us became leaders of one of the political parties we tried to educate the people that  you don’t win elections by violence. You win elections by talking to the people, wooing the people, lobbying them, telling them what you will give to them what you can bring to them from wherever to the community.
Election is not by killing your brother election is not by harming your sister, election is to choose credible persons that represent you and bring development to the community over the years we have suffered so long, some people died during elections, but we are trying to educate our people. Before now, if a wife is a member of another party, as they come to the house they don’t talk to each other and that sometimes lead to separation…… but now we have changed the story we are now working as a team.
Members of different parties can now sit together, eat together and talk together on how to plan to win elections as elections are done, by lobbying. That’s what we are up to, we just recently signed a ‘Peace Accord ‘ and every party pledged that if any party be violent during the elections the community will sanction the offender the party or the candidate will be sanctioned we are believing that this year, we are going to have the most peaceful election, God willing!
Golden Pen: Thanks for granting the interview, we are going to try our best to inform the public, about what you have said.

Chief Isere: Am happy, welcoming you to interview me to correct the unfounded  rumors , because if rumors are not corrected, they  become realities, so I thank Golden Pen for giving me this opportunity to talk about these issues. From the dept  of my heart I wish  to thank you, Chief Tubonah and our Golden Pen Newspaper.


Sunday, 27 January 2019

THE STORY OF STACEY: WORLD SMALLEST MOTHER {LATE] - By Evans Tubonah


Mr. & Mrs. Stacey Wils Herald
wedding day photo
The story of the great family of Mr. and Mrs Stacey Bil Herald had not been fully told, and may not be easy to be fully told in this generation and generations to come.
 It is an uncommon story about a man and a woman who took an uncommon decision full of challenges. Wil Herald was born without challenges, but Stacey came to the world with a great challenge which medical doctors described as:
"...a rare condition called osteogenisis imperfecta which stunted her growth, the genetic condition also caused brittle bones and under developed lungs."
But that was not and issue to Mr.Wil Herald the day he saw Stacey, he saw nothing than a wife material in her. They shared the privilege of working together in same office, which propelled the burning desire of Mr. Wil who proposed marrying Stacey.
Of-course, brilliant woman, Stacey did not take that proposal lightly looking at the quality of the man begging her hand in marriage, Stacey gave a nod without delay and the got married.
The marriage was not without disquiet, because it made news headlines across the global media, print, electronic and the new media.
The couple so loved themselves and there were no issues known to the public where they disagreed.
They were all of one mind, even as she insisted that she was going to be a mother of children against medical advice that it was risky for her to carry a baby in her womb and to give birth to children
judging her by the above stated condition.
Stacey and her child
Mr. and Mrs. Stacey and Wil Herald agreed that they must make a family, and their faith paid off as their first child, daughter, called Kateri came through them into the world in 2007.
Another disquiet across the world, as the Stacey Wil Herald family entered the Guinness World Records book with Stacey becoming the "World Smallest Mother".
With her first daughter, Stacey who strongly believed that she was going to bear fruit miraculously, because she also was a miracle  took in, against medical advice and had her first daughter, which became a practical proof of the miracle of God as she and her husband anticipated in faith.
That was not the end of the story, Stacey was not bent on being just a mother of one child, neither was her husband, to them, a single child cannot make a family they needed more children. But that was not what the doctors advised against earlier, and they couldn't go back on their word. To them it was just a miracle, or it just happened by chance, so she shouldn't dare again, that the couple could not accept and the went ahead and had other children....... 

Friday, 25 January 2019

BAYELSA EAST: INIRUO WILLS COMES IN AS GAME CHANGER?

Hon. [Barr.] Iniruo Owazi Wills
Former Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bayelsa State, Hon. Iniruo Owazi Wills of the Labour Party had joined the Bayelsa East Senatorial race 2019 offering himself as a  credible candidate.
Mr. Owazi Wills a Lawyer by Profession, an Environmentalist, a Human and Peoples Rights
Activist, Patriot of Ijaw Nation, a true lover of his Senatorial District and Communities, a Visionary and ideological leader. He is indeed a big fish that had offered himself to serve his people.
The humble and development oriented Iniruo Owazi Wills' joining the race has brought hope to the electorate who are bent on choosing a credible parliamentarian at the upper House who would not have his personal interest override the interest of the Constituency he represents, but to liaise with the grassroots for a well co-ordinated  representation. His coming into the race is therefore being looked at by observers as changing the game.  The question on the lips of the masses,  IS INIRUO OWAZI WILLS THE GAME CHANGER?
Such a question is not out of place, because as soon as he entered the political field of play, he electrified the Senatorial District with new ideas, new visions for the masses to see that with him getting to the promised land of 'milk and honey' through the ballot box is just a stone throw.
Being a man of many colors, Iniruo Owazi Wills cannot be doubted or controverted because whatever he said is just the truth and nothing but the truth. He has vast experience at different fields. Due to his background as Environmentalist, he had been the eye of the Bayelsa East Senatorial District where he argued for the rights of the oil producing areas on environmental security, youth employment and overall development, in his capacity as a Special Adviser to the Governor of Bayelsa State on Environmental  matters, and as Hon. Commissioner of Environment all in the Restoration administration of Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson.
Besides, he spent years working with the Niger Delta Development Commission as Personal Assistant to the Managing Director Finance and Administration. 
As soon as he stepped into the race, he galvanized the Senatorial District with his vision, by putting on paper his Manifesto to clinch the 2019 electoral mandate pointing out why others elected to the Senate, who did their best, did not see what he is seeing, and what he would do if elected to the hallowed chambers of the Senate to represent them.
Barrister Iniruo Wills is like standing on the shoulders of his late father, Pa Owazi Wills, a philanthropist, who met the needs of many without asking where they came from, with his resources.
As son of Owazi Wills, Iniruo is like his father always willing to render service for the interest of humanity and the society. 
He had sold his ideas through the nooks and crannies of the Senatorial District and is emerging as the game changer to clinch the mandate to the coveted seat in the forth coming 16th February 2019 Senatorial Election in Bayelsa East.