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Bayelsa guber poll: Panic hits Sylva’s camp as loyalists leave in droves

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Bayelsa guber poll: Panic hits Sylva’s camp as loyalists leave in droves

By: Michael Mike

As the Bayelsa State governorship election, scheduled for November 11, 2023 gets closer, panic has hit the camp of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Timipre Sylva, as his support base is being eroded daily with supporters ditching him for the camp of the incumbent governor, Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The scenario has also been compounded by the reluctance of the national leadership of the party to support his campaign financially.

Only recently, the closest political ally of Sylva, who is also an immediate past member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Israel Sunny Goli, dumped him for the PDP over what was described as irreconcilable differences.

Also, few days ago, the platform of former legislators from 1999 till date declared their support for Governor Diri with the motion of vote of confidence on Diri moved by a former Sylva’s ally, Hon. Robert Enogha, and seconded by Rt. Hon. Werinipre Seibarugu, former Acting Governor and also a deputy governor to Sylva.

The development is becoming a source of worry to his supporters and party leaders in the state.

A close associate of Sylva, who spoke to our reporter in confidence, while taking stock of the political climate in the state ahead of the election, said: “if care is not taken, the way Sylva is going about it, Sylva and his supporters may be plunged into political oblivion and ultimately be retired from the Bayelsa political space, because the events of the past are hunting him and his followers.”

The source recalled how Sylva led a team of his supporters to meet the National Chairman of the APC, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, to raise N11 billion to support his campaign.

“The team met a brick wall as the Chairman was not enthusiastic about the idea. Rather than buying into the idea as the usual practice during a serious election season like the governorship election, he mockingly threw the task back to Sylva by giving him the task to first list the number of persons he had empowered in his state.

“Sylva and his team were given one hour to do that, while Ganduje waited to no avail and they left the national chairman’s residence with forlorn faces and utter disappointment.”

Another source further expressed disappointment that APC supporters back in Bayelsa State are frightened by daily depletion of supporters, defecting in droves to the ruling PDP with confidence in the Diri administration soaring higher.

The indicators, according to the sources, are gloomy for the APC, so long as free and fair election is conducted in the state.

However, recall that in the past couple of weeks, the media has been agog with reports about the desperation of the APC governorship candidate to win at all cost.
Accusing fingers pointed at his direction over plans to use BVAS machines without appropriate codes, the allegation of co-opting fake policemen and INEC officials to do his bidding.

Also, he tried unsuccessfully to drag the Presidency into his campaign, trying to enlist the support of the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
His effort was also futile.

Very significant to note is the fact that Sylva is hell bent on returning the state to its dark days during his five years reign of terror. Remember, the bombing of political opponent rallies, the unexplained death of the younger brother of his late ADC whom we gathered was ready to cooperate with the police.

A prominent community leader from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area bursted in anger while condemning his choice of a deputy from a local government that produced the first graduate in the person of late Chief N A Frank Opigo. He said: “Southern Ijaw people are appalled at the APC’s choice of a deputy governorship candidate whose credentials are well known to be questionable. What an insult to our collective sensibilities?

“His deputy governorship candidate we recall was boastful of his jail break while serving a ten year jail term for multiple felonies in Kaduna prison. Whither are we bound? Haba, has Bayelsa State become the state of jokers?”

The question on the lips of vast majority of Bayelsans is: Is there any interest the former Minister of State for Petroleum has other than coming to sell the state just as he was accused of revoking the state most priced asset , the Atala Oil Field OML 46 which is the common patrimony of the land of his birth . OML 46 recall is the marginal oil field allocated to Bayelsa State during the resource control agitations.

Rather than protect it for his state Sylva revoked it and reallocated it to a company that was only incorporated in September 2019 with no single asset or experience using fake receipts and unverifiable investment claims. These are some of the baggage the APC has to contend with in the days ahead of the election.

Bayelsa guber poll: Panic hits Sylva’s camp as loyalists leave in droves

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

By: Ladi Dapson

The Borno state government has charged the youths to take the lead in peace building,conflicts management and learn how to be tolerant in respective of faiths and ethicity coloration.

The State Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof Usman Tar made this known during an inaugurating of 100 awardees of yoths as Peace Advocates in Borno State held in Maiduguri.

He urged the youths to take the advantages of their population in Nigeria just like the way China took the advantage of their population and bring some innovation to boast their economy.

“Today we inaugurating the young peace Ambassadors that we will be going into the society tricking down the capacity of peace building and tolerance that we have thought them.

“The outcome of this excise is that we now have critical young mind that will serve as ambassadors of peace go out and target specific community as well as teach the art of peace, conflict resolution, conflict management, peace building, and diplomacy.

“So that the society will be more tolerant, more engaging and society will learn to leave side by side with people of all faiths and tendency,”he said.

Earlier, the Founder of Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment, Amb. Ahmed Shehu said youths are critical stakeholders in peace processes, urging the people in the community to identify the youths in their community and give them the necessary support.

“As a civil society, we thought we have to play our role towards ensuring we have a stable society.

“What we observed in these efforts is that a critical element is missing. This is the youth groups and we thought why can’t we come up with an initiative where we build the capacity of the youth and make them youth advocates and unleash them to the society for peacebuilding.

“We carefully selected young people and voices across all sectors, from the media, CSOs and academia. Our dream is you would go back to the community and change the narratives,”Ahmed said.

He was awarded for a responsible media practice and promoting of a culture of peace.

One of recipients of the Peace Advocate Award and Social Media Influencer, Aliyu Mohammed Tong applauded the Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment and partners for finding them worthy of this award after a series of trainings and community engagements.

“As we accepted the award we equally took it as a challenge to positively make an impact in our various communities by stepping down the knowledge we gained on reintegration and sustainable peace.”Aliyu thanked.

Some of the recipients include Mohammed Usman, General Manager of Al-Ansar Radio; Usaman Mohammed, Report with Yerwa Express News; Umaru Kirawa, Correspondent of Newscentral Africa, Zainab Yetunde Adam, Reporter with NTA amongst.

The project was funded by the British Council in partnership with the Borno State Ministry for information and Internal Security and implemented by Peace Ambassadors Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment.

Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

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New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

By: Michael Mike

The newly appointed Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Kemi Nandap has promised to evolve policies that would prevent illegal migration, safeguard the lives of Nigerians and foster positive bilateral relations.

Nandap made the promise on Friday in Abuja during her decoration with her new rank by the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo

The Comptroller General, while expressing gratitude to President Bola Tinubu and the Minister of Interior for her new appointment, said: “I extend my sincerest gratitude and profound reverence to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the trust and confidence placed in me to lead this esteemed organisation. I am very grateful to my Honourable Minister of Interior- Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo-for his vision, meticulous focus, tireless work ethic, and leadership. I must also acknowledge and sincerely thank the Permanent Secretary and the entire Board for their unwavering support and endorsement.”

She added that: “As I step into this role, I want to first assure our fellow Nigerians that I am fully prepared and committed to serving our nation with utmost dedication and integrity. I am not unaware of the socioeconomic challenges and pains facing our beloved country, and I pledge-to use the functions of the Nigerian Immigration Service to alleviate these struggles to the best of our
ability.

“To that end and under the guiding principles of the “Renewed Hope” agenda set forth by his excellency, President Tinubu’s administration, we will strive towards unity, growth and development. We will prioritize the welfare of our immigration officers and enhance the ease and .efficiency of engagement between Nigerian citizens and the Immigration service. We will focus on improving the entry and acclimatization processes for compliant foreigners through various visa and residency programmes.

“Furthermore, we are steadfast in our resolve to strengthen policies to prevent illegal migration, safeguard the lives of our citizens and foster positive bilateral relations. Tightening border security will be our major objective to reduce the porosity of our borders and enhance overall national security.

She added that: “We will strive to implement revenue generation programmes to bolster the economy, contribute to our tax quota, and aid in job creation.

“In addition, we will continue to integrate cutting-edge techology to modernize the Nigerian Immigration Service. Our Honourable minister has demonstrated the power of technology in creating a seamless e-passport system for citizens. We will continue under his aegis to reform the service for greater efficiency and ease.”

Earlier, the Minister of Interior has charged the new CG that it was important that she performs as no excuse for non-performance would be entertained.

He noted that the entire nation is looking up to her to perform and not ready to entertain any excuse.

New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

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Police, NSCDC Have Clear Roles Under the Constitution- Tunji-Ojo

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Police, NSCDC Have Clear Roles Under the Constitution- Tunji-Ojo

By: Michael Mike

Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has said the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) should brace up to perform its constitutional given role, insisting that the constitution was clear on the role of the Corps which are to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Speaking at the celebration of the World Civil Defence Day in Abuja on Friday, the Minister said there is distinct roles in the constitution for both the Nigeria Police Force and the NSCDC and there was no reason for a clash in roles.

He said that the members of Civil Defence Corps have no reason to perform the role of the police as they have a duty to ensure that the nation’s oil pipelines are not vandalized and oil theft is a thing of the past.

He equally said they have the duty of ensuring that a stop is put to illegal mining and that lives and property at mining sites are protection.

He said though they have done so much but much more need to be done in ensuring that Nigeria’s natural resources is not stolen by vandals and that public infrastructure are protected.

The Minister said: “I have not come here to commend you but rather to tell you to brace up as there is much more that needed to be done.”

He however called for collaboration between all security apparatus in the country to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.

The Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ahmed Audi said the
Corps has intensified patrol, monitoring, surveillance and have emplaced adequate security measures to ensure protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure (CNAI) in all its formations across the Country including the Federal Capital Territory to prevent violent attacks, willful damage, vandalization and sabotage.

He said: “The Corps’ Anti-Vandal Squad and the Commandant General’s Special Intelligence Squad has continued to wage relentless war against vandals of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure and oil thieves among others.

“The sudden upsurge in the vandalization of railway tracks and sleepers is also being critically addressed as the Corps has begun an onslaught on these criminal elements/economic saboteurs. This renewed war has led to several arrests and seizures in the past one year.”

He revealed that between January and February 2024 alone, the Corps has made significant impact in the war against vandalization and oil theft where over 57 suspects have been arrested. A greater percentage of the arrested vandals are those involved in the vandalization of railway tracks and sleepers.

He said: “Similarly, on 11th January, 2024 at about 0057hrs, the Corps in conjunction with the Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited also arrested a vessel, MT KALI suspected to have been involved in oil theft at the sea in Beneti, Bayelsa State.

“The Vessel was arrested with about 119 metric tons of crude oil already loaded. Twelve (12) crew members and eleven (11) community members on board were arrested and are undergoing investigation.”

Audi, who is also celebrating three years as CG, said parta of the achievements recorded from March, 2021 to date include
1,421 arrests, 933 prosecutions, 488 convictions and 233 destroyed illegal refineries.

Police, NSCDC Have Clear Roles Under the Constitution- Tunji-Ojo

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