Monday, 2 October 2017
With great pleasure we also congratulate His Excellency the Contriman Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, the Deputy Governor Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (RTD) and the entire people of the state in commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the creation of Bayelsa State.
In 21 years, the dot of infrastructural development has made more meaning only since the inception of the Restoration Government of Ofuruma Pepe, His Excellency Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson.
This administration has in
less than 5 years; Constructed and furnished the New Governor's/ Deputy Governor's Iconic Office Complex, Completed the state Archive, Completed the State Language School in addition to establishment of several free Boarding Schools, Construction of world class diagnostic centre and a drug mart, Moved constitution of the 3 Senatorial Roads to 60% completion, Carried out 70% completion of the first International Cargo Airport, the magnificent Ecumenical Centre, Dualization of the Internal Roads and several others.
CONSTITUTION YOUR EXCELLENCY AND THE RESTORATION TEAM. HAPPY 21st YEARS ANNIVERSAR
Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo Esq.
Ministry of Works and Infrastructure
Dr.. (Barr.)Johnson Amaowei Dagana
Ministry of Works and Infrastructure
Saturday, 30 September 2017
OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR OF BAYELSA STATE, H/E SERIAKE DICKSON ON THE OCCASION OF 21ST ANNIVERSARY OF BAYELSA STATE OCT.IST 1996-OCT. 1ST 2017
For obvious reasons you deserve a CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES as the incumbent governor of the only all Ijaw State of the Niger Delta region in the South/South geo-political zone of our country Nigeria.
Today, our nation, Nigeria, is celebrating her 57th independence anniversary Your Excellency, this is a remarkable milestone in the history of our dear state, and it is an occasion of joy, which is a platform for joyful expressions, goodwill messages and for sharing the truth with one another for the interest of a better and greater future.
Before the October Ist 1996, Bayelsa was just a Senatorial District in Rivers State, thanks to General Sani Abacha (late), the Military Saint that gave Bayelsa to the Ijaw People through the 1994 Constitutional Conference, led by Justice Karibi Whyte as it's Chairman.
Your Excellency, it will intrest you to note that, I also went to that historic Constitutional Confrence. I was the Secretary to the Conference Delegate from the Brass axis, Hon. Itari Kombo (Mrs Garuba) of blessed memory. At that Confrence we had just two elected delegates to cover the then six local government areas that made Bayelsa Forum in the then Rivers State. Hon. Foster Ogolah, noe Senator, was the Confrence Delegate elected to represent Sagbama, Ekeremor and Southern/Ijaw Local Government Areas, while Hon.Itari Kombo represented Brass, Ogbia and Yenagoa Local Government Areas, and that was the Confrence that midwifed the birth of Kolokuma/Opokuma and Nembe Local Government Areas and Bayelsa State.
Some of the Rivers Delegates include: Chief Melford Okilo and Chief Dan Etete were Government Delegates from Bayelsa Senetorial District, others include, Dr. D.U. Anucha, Dr Okogbule Wonodi Dr. Martins Yellowe, Mr. Reginald Wilcox... and Dr. Peter Odili as Chairman of the Rivers Delegates.
Knowing where we were coming from, when Bayelsa was created, we had a reason to celebrate and we celebrated. And from year to year leaders of the state from the Military era to Democracy, no leader closed eyes to the historic birth day of the state.
It was so expected and the people at such occasions use to gather in sober reflections of where they were coming from, where they are and where they were going. The people did not use to gather themselves, it was the function of government to gather the people of the state for this noble purpose. And that notably was a period the governor of the state makes himself available for interactions with different sectors of the populace with the media being the first to be invited for either a Press briefing or a Press Conference by His Excellency the governor of the state who announces government activities to the media, for dissemination to inform the public.
And that was an occasion that brought together the who is who of the Ijaw race in general and Bayelsans in particular within and outside the country. But Your Excellency, from the look of things, your administration is no longer interested in gatthering the people to give them (us) the sense of belonging they (we) rightly deserve.
But if I may ask Your Excellency, is there anything wrong if you pay due attention or more attention to the Bayelsa people who elected you governor than paying 85% attention to the outside world and giving your people just 15% of your time in the state? Some would have preferred pouring ecomium on you even at the time, as a human being, you needed honest and patriotic ideas to support you move the state forward, For that reason I want to speak openly, because I believe that you wouldn't want to disappoint Bayelsans nor fail them for giving you their trust. If you believe in that, then I would like you to look at some of the"pictures" of the state.
Just last month, the state witnessed your going on annual leave It is your constitutional right to go on leave and to go on a working tour, if the need arises, but it is dangerous to be out of the duty post too often, because it is not easy for a traveling governor to work on the files that need urgent attention on your table. Your,Excellency, time is not on your side, your frequent tours every month taking weeks adversely affected your performance and it is my candid opinion that you take a critical examination of it and make amend to achieve a record breaking service delivery within the limit of time in governance.
1 THE ECONOMY OF THE STATE AND POVERTY
Your Excellency, to be honest to you, the economy of Bayelsa state has been down for some years not minding her frontal position as oil bearing state. People have become endemic to poverty, amongst the ordinary citizens there is hardly a family which can stand out to say 'I am O.K, besides your family and some other few privileged families that live in affluence. From street to street, if you go round, Yenagoa and its environ, you will find the truth that the people are not prospering. Your people are no longer building houses to accommodate their families, the few structures you may find under construction are either abandoned or taken over with weeds, majority of car owners can no longer maintain their cars or even fuel their cars, parents find it difficult to pay their children school fees and people find it so difficult to feed, because there has been no circulation of money in the state you govern.
But if you trace why Bayelsans are so poor in your own administration, if you honestly want to know, I would like to tell Your Excellency, that your administration started in error and had continued in that error till today. When you were sworn into office as the Governor of Bayelsa State, a file was handed over to you, it was your first file to attend. That was the handover file from your predecessor, it contained all the assets and liabilities of the state. But when you sat on the seat of the governor, your attention quickly went to the assets. All your communication was about assets. You sent a combination of government officials and security operatives to go after some of the outgoing former political appointees who were in possession of official cars, and still living government property chased out of such facilities or quarters, contractors handling government projects were trailed, invited and given a marching order to deliver on the jobs. Those indebted to the state were made to pay such monies, but you did not look to the direction of the liabilities.
All that your administration did on the liabilities was to call Bayelsans to submit their document and claims to the office of the then Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Iduate Iyabi, who made a radio announcement on behalf of government to that effect. People went and submitted their documents in compliance, I also went and submitted my document on behalf of my medium the Golden Pen Newspaper, and the Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Iyabi assured that after the first 100 days in office the government was going to settle all liabilities, but till date nothing has been paid.
Your Excellency, your administration informed the people of the state and the world at your monthly transparency briefings, of settling liabilities of bank loans, payment of contractors in Abuja, Lagos amounting to billions of Naira, but to the people of Bayelsa that voted you to power, you have not paid any amount. And by that none payment, you subjected your own people to poverty and untold hardships. Take note that, God does not like such treatments for his people. As a Christian, you need to know that it is not right before God to withhold money that is entitled to someone or group. See scriptures.
Deuteronomy 24:14-15 reads:- "Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy...At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it...lest he cry against thee unto the LORD and it be sin unto thee."
In the book of Jeremiah 22:13, the LORD said:- "Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong: that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work." The word of God here, true and as a Christian you need not trivialize it nor ignore, but to be more diligent, by improving on payment of salaries and pensions, to ensure that the poor also have bread on their tables and bless the name of the LORD for your sake.
Bayelsans have cried out of exclusion and marginalization by your administration, that you are giving everything to none indigines to the detriment of the sons and daughters of the state. That you have been most generously giving out contracts and political appointments to none iniginnes with impunity some of whom you also pay huge sums of money. And that because of your disdain for the people of Ijaw and of Bayelsa you love hosting dignitaries from outside to come and commission projects. You import media managers from outside, accommodate them in government house and hotels and pay them jaw breaking amounts of money, millions of Naira to publish accolades while the indigenous media deliberately avoided and sidelined, and stripped naked of all their benefits as stakeholders. Instead of giving them media appointments you take their entitled positions to none indigines, and leave them with nothing to fall back on. Your Excellency, you need to correct some of these administrative errors, because, you will not like it if the governorship was given to a none indigine, like you are doing with the appointment of the Chief Press Secretary.
In all these, the greatest problem your people are facing is how to feed. Some have no employment and are willing to do even casual jobs, daily paid jobs, but your government hasn't such a window to accommodate them, because your government has no direct labour projects.
You will also find the teaming unemployed graduates of our state roaming the streets. Besides providing employment opportunities for the citizens to enhance the economy, there are also other areas, your administration needed to loudly or vehemently address.
That is the Agricultural Sector. Your Excellency cannot deny the fact that fishing and farming are our main occupation, and we are known all over the world as fishermen. It was therefore anticipated of your administration to empower that sector to provide employment for the job seeking masses and to feed the people of the state. You raised the hope of the people when you highlighted the potentials of the Peremabiri rice farm, deep sea fishing in the Brass and Agge axis of the state at public occasions, but nothing to show.
If the government had acquired fishing trawlers for deep sea fishing and provided fishing gears to fishers in the state, the economy couldn't have been this bad
2. The number two point I like to bring to your attention, Your Excellency, is that your administration has no plan, program or policy that touches on the lives of the people in their different callings. By this I mean, that your administration had not made a place for indigenous contractors. All the contractors you have, either major contractors or sub-contractors are mostly from outside the state, leaving the indigenous contractors to loaf around.
This is too bad for the people of the state. Couldn't it have been better that you also give contracts to Bayelsans and strictly supervise them to execute jobs than giving out all the wealth of the state to outsiders and keeping our people and land dejected? This is an area you aught to look at with deep attention and to address without delay.
3. Your Excellency, you came with a vision to industrialize the state, because all your attention was geared towards wooing investors to the state, and for the sake of it, your administration constituted the Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency (BIPA) manned by high calibre technocrats whom you empowered with whooping amount of N10billion just to open offices at South/Africa and London, and since after that bold initiative there has been no sign of investors coming in. This gives the impression that that plan had failed to yield a tangible result, and if it did fail, what the government needs do, is to start or restart the industrialization process once again by building industries in the state and importing equipment and to employ people to man it.
For instance the Bayelsa Palms project should have been a all time money spinner, employment provider and a window for exportation, if the state government had invested copiously in that area. Your Excellency, I think you also know like I did that, the Rivers State Oil Palm (RISONPALM) project at Ubima had been a all time money spinner to that state, and don't forget that a foreign country, Malaysia which came and acquired palm fruits from there and invested in their country new has that as the main stay of their economy. Yes! If the will is there the state can start or restart with that.
4. There are many other sectors soliciting attention: Transport vehicles and boats for land and riverine operations., Promotion of Commerce and to establish a strong Chambers of Commerce in the state, to build a self reliant business development is a great necessity. Tourism Development, Culture, Sports Development etc.
5. Your Excellency, in the education sector, your administration has recorded successes in the areas of good WAEC results, good JAMB results, building, renovation and equipment of some key schools; especially in urban areas while schools in the interland are still begging for attention. Your administration started a robust scholarship scheme, which opened a window of opportunities for students to study in tertiary institutions across the world, but now, that itself, has grounded to a halt. No more scholarship scheme? Why has the Restoration government stopped funding scholarship is a question the Commissioner for Education has not been able to answer.
The State own Niger Delta University (NDU) is wearing the look of a suffering institution. Shortly put, that institution needed funding, but instead of funding it, your administration side stepped from that arrangement and used the state's fund to open an African University. (AU).
Your Excellency, to open another University is not a wrong decision, it is a progressive idea for which you and indeed your administration deserve commendation, but to take that glory, it shouldn't be at the expense of the NDU.
You don't have to 'rob Peter to pay Paul' for whatever reason, the right thing to do here, is to take care of all the state owned institutions without bias if you agree with me.
Have a good day, Your Excellency!
Chief Otonye Evans Tubonah
Golden Pen Newspaper
|Chief Otonye Evans Tubonah|
Golden Pen Newspaper
Friday, 29 September 2017
Your Excellency, the creation of Bayelsa on the 1st of October 1996 has been a welcome development to the people of the state as well as to every Ijaw speaking people all over the world.
As we mark the 21st Anniversary of the Creation of this state, 1st of October 2017, the Bayelsa State Hospitals Management Board wishes to appreciate the state government led by His Excellency, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson for doggedly pushing the health sector forward despite the economic challenges by providing the needful and keeping the sector functional.
Fresh in our mind is renovation of Hospitals across the state and provision of medical laboratories amongst others.
Thursday, 28 September 2017
Your Excellency Sir, we applaud your courage, dogged determination and focus towards restoring our dear state in line with the dreams of the founding fathers despite plethora of challenges.
As the state takes the bold step from it's "Teen" years into the explorative "Youth" stages, Your Excellency, the state under your leadership would continue to witness massive infrastructural development, educational advancement, youth empowerment, economic recovery, health care service delivery, stability that earned Bayelsa State global accolades from internationally reputed rating organization and individuals.
With Hon. Dickson on the saddle of leadership, Bayesian are not only celebrating independence, but also celebrating excellency and transparency in governance.
Your pragmatic use of the Directorate for Project Monitoring and Evaluation in ensuring that projrects are executed according to required standards using quality materials and ensuring value money is highly commendable.
As we join other Nigerians Celebrate another years statehood, may the Good Lord continue to grant you robust health, divine wisdom and understanding to pilot the affairs of the state to greater heights.
God Bless Bayelsa State
Engr. Dio A Wenapere
Tuesday, 19 September 2017
|from Right Idumange and Febabo|
In a brief ceremony held in the office of General Managers in the State Radio House, 97. 1 Glory Fm, in Yenagoa, Dr. Idumange gave accounts of his stewardship to the government and people of the state in his service as the General Manager of the State's Broadcasting Corporation, and highlighted some key areas that the new or incoming GM needed to pay attention to or focus on, to achieve desired success.
Comrade Idumange, who spoke about his anti-corruption disposition in governance said, for the new GM to succeed, he must plug every loop hole that the resources of the Corporation may not be hijacked by some persons to their private pockets and accounts, to the detriment of both management and staff.
"This is purely a handover ceremony, before this time, I had worked with the Radio, I wrote commentaries, right from the time Comish Ekiye was the General Manager, that time I was working as Local Government Secretary, but I was writing commentaries...so I was not new to the Radio House..."
Dr. Idumange said, his appointment and assignment on the 2nd of December, 2016 to the Radio House by the governor was to serve for six months, but that he had stayed up to nine months and while briefing the governor on who to be the GM after him, suggested that someone with experience from the Radio may be better but did not give the name of anybody to be appointed and commended the governor of his choice of Tari Febabo, describing the move as visionary.
Expressing his views on certain issues Dr. Idumange said:-
"One impression I want to correct is that any time something happens , something done either by the ministry or head of service..., it is attributed to me. Most people do not know that the civil service rule.. does not permit the GM to transfer anybody."
He told the in-coming GM who was an Assistant General Manager in the same Corporation some months ago, spoke of some key areas like the vexed issue of Sharp Sharp deductions of which information and receipts were in the handover note. while stating that, the Corporation was cheated of the sum of N2.5m by the operators of the deductions and that the matter is still on.
Speaking extensively on a wide range of issues, the out going General Manager, Dr. Idumange highlighted some of the achievements in his 9 months administration...
In his response, the new General Manager, Tari Febabo, thanked the Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson for giving him the honour to serve. He also appreciated the out-going GM, Comrade Idumange for his achievements and assured that he will do his best to fly the flag of the Corporation to the next level.
|From left, Comrade Idumange and Tari Febabo|
Thursday, 14 September 2017
|Hon. Henry Dickson|
Governor of Bayelsa State
Special Adviser to the Governor of Bayelsa State,
Speaking to the Golden Pen Newspaper in his office, Yesterday, the Special Adviser said the nation's steady educational development has been seriously affected by the strike he described as avoidable.
He therefore called on the federal authorities and the Academic Staff union body, to for the interest of the country and the future of our children come to compromise and call off the strike without further delay.
He explained that the strike had adversely affected Bayelsa, because of what the Governor of the state, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson had put into the development of the sector from the inception of the administration. He spoke that the governor had begun with:-
"A very ambitious scholarship programme, that has been exceptional and indeed unprecedented. I keep on using that word, unprecedented, because indeed there was none like it until he came onboard and declared emergency in the full spectrum of the educational sub system..."
According to him, the Dickson administration took a look at the primary sector, the secondary sub-sector, and the tertiary, and spoke as follows:-
"With specific programme for training and 're-training of our teachers, today, I can tell you by our last WAEC performance, the WAEC body adjudged Bayelsa as one of the states with best result in Nigeria... as reported in some of the media, that Abia, Rivers, Edo, Imo and Bayelsa emerged the best performing states in 2016 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations. These are the results, the bench mark, with which you measure the performance of the government."
On the issue of relocation of the College Of Education (COE) from Okpoama in Brass Local Government to Sagbama in Sagbama Local Government Area, Mr. Adigio Austin said:-
"The College of Education in all it's stay in Brass Local Government Area had a population less than hundred students with teaching and non-teaching staff. We, in approaching education look at it as a business. Education is also a chain of production where outputs must equate inputs. There, salaries, overheads.... was not commensurate with the output of the students, and so the decision was reached and the school was moved to Sagbama. As I speak to you today, that school has over 2000 students.. with opportunities of even expanding; so you can now see the value for government investment in that school."
He further explained that people are interested in the school because of it's location. Sagbama is equidistant from Port Harcourt, Warri, Ugheli, and therefore has larger catchment that come from neighboring states to register and that brings more internally generated revenue for the institution, he emphasized.
On the Maritime Academy for which the state government concluded plans to build at Okpoama in agreement with Poland, as a replacement of the C.O.E., Mr. Adigio Austin expressed the hope that despite financial challenges facing the nation and by extension the state government, he had no doubt that the State government will not fail on that project. Hear this:-
"His Excellency, the Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson knows the potentiality of a Maritime Academy in developing our maritime resources, hence he will not and will never abandone the project he had brought to limelight or play politics with it. When that project is established and we understand our maritime domain and the economy, I mean having a Maritime institution will not only build our human capital , but is going to be a big logistics base...and that is a big money spinner for the state...he concluded.
Monday, 28 August 2017
King Walter Samuel stated this while exchanging views with the Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of the Golden Pen newspaper, Chief Otonye Evans Tubonah on phone.
He described as a welcome development that his community, Agrisaba hosted a scheduled meeting of the Nembe Ibe/Mini Council of Chiefs attended by over one hundred Chiefs just recently.
The Agrisaba Monarch used the medium to acknowledge and appreciate the leadership role played by the Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs and urged them to maintain the tempo, to galvanize the Chiefs and people of Okoroba and Agrisaba and satellite communities in the area to work in peace and unity for development. He used the medium to highlight the development vision of his administration in Agrisaba.
King Walter Samuel said, the Agrisaba community has started the construction of a one kilometre road, which according to him has reached 30% completion, while a six flats teachers quatres is to be built to accommodate primary school teachers posted to the community, to which end, he went on to to say that thousands of blocks are already moulded in readiness for the project.
King Agri also spoke briefly of the development vision of his community in these words:
"My vision as the king of Agrisaba is to ensure that there is development in the land. It is also my desire that the life of the people, I mean the welfare of the people improves; through employment, through agriculture, fisheries, trade and industry and sports etc..."
"I, and my Chiefs Council and indeed the entire community share the same vision that Agrisaba's development is a collective responsibility, and we are working together." he further stated.
Talking about the administrative success of the king, a prominent son of the soil, Jean Agreen has this to say:
"King Walter is kind, sagacious, accommodating and pushes for the welfare of Agrisaba like no other king has done. Agrisaba community is getting more organized with extraordinary solidity and stability"