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.


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

CHIEF AGAMA THAN GOD, APPRECIATES SUPPORT FOR MOTHER'S BURIAL By Evans Tubonah

The first Son of the centeranian mother, late Madam Laura Igbogitariye Jonah Okoro, Chief (Sir) Stephen S.N. Appi Agama has appreciated God and the people of Nembe and others across communities within and outside Bayelsa State for their support at the burial.
Chief Agama who spoke in an interview with the Golden Pen Newspaper on-line stated that, the burial was highly challenging, but by the grace of God and support by the masses, the burial of the one hundred and one (101) year old mother was successfully done. The Chief who said his mother was born in 1916 and died in 2017 has this to say:
"She was strong enough for the past 10 years. She was running and moving fine, and she used to also dance, because she was involve in most of the cultural clubs. She was strong enough until four days to her death, when she became sick. Nobody moved her, she didn't punish anybody, she died peacefully in her own house...."
Chief Agama noted the uniqueness of his mother's burial and remarked as follows:
"It's a rare event seeing a 101 year old mother nobody assisted, who never used a walking stick to support herself to her last day. When I gave her a walking stick  to support herself some time she refused, saying,  No! She said she will use her feet to move, and she did...", Chief Agama revealed.
Giving a brief account of the centeranian mother, Chief Agama who spoke on behalf of the children said that his mother, the late, Madam Laura Igbogitariye Jonah Okoro gave birth to 15 children, 7 survived and that at the point of her burial the survivors were 5 who gave birth to 120 grand children, who in turn gave birth to 50 great grand children, while to crown it all, she also had 5 great great grand children, which made her the mother of 180 souls, at the point of departure to the great beyond.
CHALLENGES: It was so challenging, just to think of it, Chief Agama said. To bury such a great personality that would attract people from various communities and States across Nigeria, was not considered a 'tea party'. Here him:
"We the children of Madam Laura Igbogitariye Jonah Okoro were so much afraid in the beginning, because this woman is a popular woman, who married from Pegi Group of Chieftaincy Houses to late, His Royal Highness Sunday Stephen Appi, the founder and first king of Sand Sand Ama in Ikensi, in Opu Nembe. Therefore the Chiefs of Pegi Iseminyai Group, Elemah Group, Kalabo Group,  and indeed the whole Nembe Bassambiri as anticipated participated at the historic burial ceremonies."
"...the Ogbari Group, Ikata Group and many other groups of Nembe city, personalities from Brass Local Government area, from Southern/Ijaw Local Government area, Ogbia Local Government and all over, and so we were a little bit afraid of how to contain the team of relations..."
Chief Agama stated that the family did the best for her burial because she deserved it.
According to him, to that end, an uncommon casket wad prepared for her journey, a casket of a fish that is like the Shark called 'Ekwe' in Nembe. That has never been done in the history of burials.
He also spoke on reviving of some of the moribund burial traditions in these words:
"She is the first person, now reviving the culture of traditional 'due alapu' (chief for the dead). That culture has been overtaken by modern days service of songs for even those who never entered the four corners of a Church, they will organize service of songs..  All traditional rites were given to her from the first day.
"In the day of the burial, " Tiripaga segi" dance by women for a diseased person at the burial donations almost abolished, was revived. That made her burial, talk of people at various quarters congratulating the family for a ceremony well done." he explained. Pointing to a dance group he has this to say:
"The club that is dancing is called GOODLUCK of Otatubu-ama, 1946 was when this club was founded. She was the only surviving person. Anybody who died were represented by her daughters, she will be represented by her daughter. "Okara Lady" is another club she was the only surviving foundation member until her death will also come and perform. She was also the leader of Oluasiri Arugu, displayed on Saturday.
APPRECIATION:
Personally, I want to appropriate a number of people who supported the family for the burial. Number one, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd), followed by Chief Ingo, Chief (Senator) Amange, the ultimate Vice Chairman, Chief Eweka of Nembe Chiefs Council, Chief Nengi James Eriworio, Chief Isere, Chief Iruo, Chief Vanman, Chief Duo, I also appropriate Golden Pen Newspape publisher, Chief EvansTubonah, Chief Pegi Chief Elemah, Chief Ogbari, Ikata, Inengite, Ovkiya groups and all of them. Anyone, I failed to mention, let them not take offense.Above all, Chief Agama gave thanks to God for  making the entire exercise a success thus:
"I gave glory to God who made it possible for me to see that everything went successful, and I wish all those who came from far and near... the reward of the Almighty, Chief Agama concluded.

Monday, 19 March 2018

THE EXPLOITS OF THE GENERALS AT WAR-By Evans Tubonah

The coming together of the three God's Generals, namely, Prophet Ubert Angel, Prophet Jeremiah Omoto Fufeyin and, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri at the Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministries in Warri, Delta State, South/South Nigerian  for "battle of the titan" has come and gone with victories for Christ Jesus and brutal losses and defeat to Satan and his agents and kingdom.
The battle took place various fields, including:the open air battle field, the mountain ground partners meeting  battle field, the Sunday service battle field amongst others. In annals of African history there had never been such a gathering of such highly anointed men of God, Prophets declaring a spiritual war against the kingdom of Satan.
Golden Pen Newspaper which passion for covering such war reports had their interest  ignited , following the declaration by the three Generals of the Almighty: "Let there be war" to Warri from where this report was filed in.
There was the battle at Partners Meeting right in the mountain, where the battle ready God's Generals announced that, their battle, strength hinged on their following instructions and urged the soldiers of Christ to also follow instruction so that they will win the battle of life against their enemies.
Prophet Jeremiah Omoto Fufeyin Founder and Leader of Christ Mercland Deliverance Ministries speaking on that very topic: keeping instructions: stated this:
"The Scriptures  does not emphasize on the need to always pray for people, but rather to give instructions. Prophets receive instructions from God and distributes such instructions to God's people and  those who followed instructions prospered while those who refused to follow instructions failed in life."
Giving examples based on the word of God as in the book of John 6:33-35 reads:
"And Jesus said unto them,  I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger: and he believeth on me shall never thirst."
And to further buttress the point Prophet Jeremiah went further and quoted Matthew Chapter 6:33 that reads:
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you"
He then called on those who have not fully given their lives to Christ Jesus, to raise their hands for altar call, where he connected them back to God urging them to obey and follow instructions.
And Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, the Founder and Leader of Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Church based in South Africa, popularly called Major 1 as one of the God's Generals at the historic spiritual battle field also said that they as prophets came to give instructions which the people must follow to receive their testimonies.
Prophet Elisha did not pray for the Syrian Army General that suffered leprosy, who wanted healing,  he was given instruction to wash himself seven times in Rivet Jordan.
"So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger untohim saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come back to there, and thou shall be clean."
God's General, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri,spoke of David the son of Jesse, the Shepherd boy who killed Goliath as a man who followed instructions. He hears from God and followed instructions to choose his weapons for the battle. Quote:
And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brooks, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had , even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine."
He said with what he gathered, David killed Goliath, emphasizing that whoever obeys or follow instructions will not just kill their Goliaths but also cut off their heads and be celebrated.
During Sunday Service, Prophet Jeremiah said it is a thing of joy for three Generals of the Lord t come together for a program, called on Senior Gods Generals to take a queue so as to build a strong and united Church of God.
Prophet Bushiri remarked that he has no regrets not being in his Church on Sunday because he believes that all that are in his Church belong to Jesus, he owns no one,  and that  the people of the Church at Mercy City also belonged to Jesus, so he believes that he was in his own Church, making it clear, that this year, Prophet Jeremiah will go to South Africa to join him as he had done and that shall also be his Church , he concluded.
It was all victories for Jesus, as the people of God celebrated the freedom, healings, breakthroughs, with testimonies.

Monday, 5 March 2018

UNIVERSITIES, TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS NOW SELF RELIANT SAYS BAYELSA GOVERNMENT- BY EVANS Tubonah

The Bayelsa State Government has announced that henceforth, academic staff workers in Universities and other Tertiary Institutions of the state will not be in the salaries payment list of the State's Civil Service  under the  present administration.
This was disclosed by the Deputy Governor of the State, His Excellency, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd.)  on behalf of His Excellency, the Governor of the State, Hon.Henry Seriake Dickson and the Restoration Government of PDP stated this during the 2nd Transparency Briefing of February 2018, held in Government House, Yenagoa.
The Deputy Governor flanked by top government officials, such as the Secretary to the State Government Mr. Kemela Okara, the Hon.Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso Markson, the Hon. Commissioner for Finance, Mr. with his team of financial experts including the Chief Finacial Adviser, Iduate Iyabi and  Mr. Timipre Seipulo. Other high officials include the Commissioner of Education, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite and the Hon. Commissioner for Power, Engr.  Jim Ogbolo amongst others.
He stated clearly, that the Bayelsa State government had always been leading  on the campaign for transparency and accountability in governance which had resulted in the reduction of the state's wage bill from N3.6bn to N2.9bn, the deputy Governor said, it was the result of much deliberations and reports presented to government by various committees to achieve the feat. Hear him:-
"Following the Public Service Reforms based on very many Committee Reports, the aim of government is to see that most of the tertiary institutions on their own shall be getting only grants from the government. So, we are no longer adding that to our salaries, as we settle the grant separately.
"That is why you see the salary bill going down from N3.6bn to N2.9bn" , the Deputy Governor clearly stated.
Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah said the state government had in accordance to the new policy approved the sum of N6.30bn grant to Universities and other Tertiary Institutions to be self reliant on salaries payment.
Commencing  graphic explanations of the income and expenditures of the state in the month of February, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd) said this:-
"On behalf of the government, we once again give you the income and expenditures of the state..."
He then went on to read out the total amount received from the federation accounts allocation committee (FAAC), 13% derivation funds, value added tax (VAT), Excess Crude, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) etc. and also read out deductions out of the total gross income of N14.3
billion that accrued to the state in February.
The Commissioner for Finance,  Mr. spoke on government's commitment to the Transparency briefing in these words:
"This is one promise the Governor made, and we are seeing the dividend  achieving  all this. In education alone, we have achieved the feeding of students in  our boarding schools. This cannot be reversed either because it is established by law"
Earlier, the Honorable Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso Markson said the Bayelsa State Government led by His Excellency, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, has  kept on with the Transparency Briefing for the past six years, for which an Award of honour has been given to the Governor by a frotline Media Organization. Hear him:-
"...We ''ve been doing this for the past six years, the only state doing this. The African Independent Television (AIT)  presented an Award to the Governor for being transparent and accountable to the people.
"Great leaders who come to Bayelsa and see the jobs being done...thought there is so much money...but it's due to prudent management of the finances of the state.."
The Information Commissioner said,  all those who came and commissioned projects in the state  gave  kudos to the development vision of the Governor, Hon. Henry Dickson, with attestation to transparency and accountability as the secret of success.