Category: Government

2023: Gov Diri Asks Appointees Eyeing Elective Office To Resign

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has directed his appointees nursing political ambition ahead of the 2023 elections to resign in order not to be distracted. 

Speaking during the State Executive Council meeting at Government House, Yenagoa, on Wednesday, Governor Diri explained that such ambition was legitimate but it should not be at the expense of effective service delivery of his administration.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying that although 2022 is a political year, governance will not be sacrificed on the altar of politics. 

He noted that the administration still had time to deliver on its promises before the next governorship election in late 2023. But that cabinet members eyeing other elective offices in the polls in February or March next year must not combine politics with governance, stressing that development of the state should supersede politics. 
He, however, commended members of the Exco for their commitment to service of the state in the past year and expressed the confidence that working together they can do more for the people. 

The state’s helmsman said there will be periodic evaluation of activities of the various ministries this year to ensure that set targets were met while urging the cabinet members to redouble their efforts. 
He said: “I welcome you all to the first executive council meeting in this new year. This year holds so much for us as it precedes an election year.

“We have few weeks to be two years in office. So, what is important now is what we have to show to people of the state and to Nigeria in our two years in office and beyond it. What else can we still do as we still have time to still do more? The feedback from the people about our performance so far has been very encouraging.

“However, let me warn that any member of the state executive council that has one political ambition or the other to honourably resign. Any member of cabinet that has such ambition should please send your resignation letter to Secretary to the State Government.

“It is legitimate for anyone to have ambition but we are one party, we are one government. Let not anyone’s ambition derail our governance and government. Just as we cannot stop anyone from having ambition, let no one stop the government from functioning.

“So, you can see where my warning is coming from. It is very difficult for you to combine your job and pursue your ambition. 
“For me and my deputy, the Constitution made it impossible for us to resign. So we continue in office to pursue our ambition.

“I also like to congratulate and appreciate you for the past year. We worked in synergy and as a family. I believe this year will not be different. We will still work together as partners in the development of our state and to give quality service that you and I will be remembered for at God’s own time when we exit our seat.”

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Diri: Only PDP Can Rescue Nigeria – Party’s Governors Must Work Together, Says Wike

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, and his Rivers State counterpart, Chief Nyesom Wike, have said the chances of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) producing the President of Nigeria in 2023 was very bright.

Both governors spoke on Monday when Wike visited Diri at the Government House in Yenagoa.

The Bayelsa governor said only the PDP can rescue Nigeria from its present state of insecurity and economic woes.

Diri, who described the presidency as a sacred office, said the party has been repositioned to ensure it wins the presidency in the 2023 general election.

A press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah quoted him as saying that the PDP was the only party with the pedigree to give Nigerians hope and a sense of direction.

He said: “The presidency is one sacred office and we must do everything to protect it and ensure that our party clinches victory at the 2023 general polls. 

“The number one thing for our party is our unity. Second is who becomes president. We have a capable national chairman that can steer us back to power come 2023.”

Commending Governor Wike for demonstrating leadership and purposeful governance, the governor stressed that states in the Niger Delta needed to unite more to tackle their common challenges, particularly in the areas of environmental pollution and underdevelopment.

“Bayelsa and Rivers states are brothers and sisters historically and culturally and if anyone is trying to divide us, we must come against them. 

“I call on Ijaw leaders to come together and resolve whatever issues we may have amicably. Within a family, we will always have issues but that should not remove our brotherliness,” Diri said.

He stressed the need for more consultations between him and his Rivers counterpart towards strengthening their bond of unity.

Diri also commended Wike for his role in ensuring the repositioning of the PDP, describing him as s committed party man.

In his remarks, Governor Nyesom Wike expressed confidence that the PDP will produce the next president of Nigeria. 

Governor Wike said Nigerians were waiting for the party to rescue them from the current situation in the country, stressing that leaders and members of the party cannot afford to miss this opportunity.

Wike emphasised the need for unity of purpose between Bayelsa and Rivers and the entire PDP, saying without a united front success would be elusive. 

The Rivers governor lauded his Bayelsa counterpart for his developmental efforts and commitment to the party and urged people of the state to continue to support him.

“Today, I came to let everybody know that Senator Douye Diri is one of the governors I can tell you has showed commitment even though he is new and he believes in the development of his state. I am not someone that will come and say what is not correct.

“I have also come to tell him that everybody must work together to make the PDP united because without party there cannot be presidential candidate. Let us all unite.

“Nigerians are waiting for PDP and we cannot afford to miss this opportunity. As governors, we must work together.

“Anybody can be presidential candidate but if we are not united it cannot be possible,” Wike said.

The Rivers governor was accompanied on the visit by a high-powered delegation that included a former Rivers governor, Chief Celestine Omehia, two former Deputy Speakers of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara and Prince Chibudom Nwuche as well as a former Minister of Transport, Chief Abiye Sekibo.

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Dickson A Political Strategist, Says Diri – Bayelsa Gov Reveals Predecessor’s Role In His Political Journey

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Monday, went down memory lane on his political journey with his predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson, describing the latter as a political strategist.

Governor Diri stated this when he received the Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District in his hometown, Sampou, in Kolokuma/ Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.

The governor recalled how both of them began their political journey serving in past civilian administrations in the state except one. 

His Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, in a statement, quoted the governor as saying that their long-standing relationship was of a mutual brotherly bond.

Diri emphasised that his predecessor had always been instrumental in his political successes and recalled that his first elected position as member of the National Assembly was achieved under the leadership of Dickson.

He also narrated how his smooth transition from the House of Reps to the Senate and now governor of the state became possible because Dickson believed in his capacity to consolidate on the legacies laid for the state.

His words: “Dickson and I have known each other long before the creation of Bayelsa State (in 1996). We had been involved in Ijaw activism in Port Harcourt (Rivers State) and later served in other administrations in the state. 

“Like he (Dickson) rightly mentioned, it is only in one administration both of us did not serve in this state. And we never knew he would become governor but because that was his destiny, it came to pass.

“The kind of relationship we share is cherished by both of us. I recall when we were looking for who to contest the House of Reps seat for our party. While I was busy looking for the right person outside, he was in his office doing same thing. Finally, he decided and told me that those around him have pointed to my direction to represent Yenagoa/ Kolokuma/ Opokuma Federal Constituency. That was how I started the journey to the National Assembly.

“Initially, our intention was for me to go to the Senate. But being the political strategist that he is, he told me that the powers that be then would be an obstacle. So the House of Reps was the best option at that time.

“I decided to go down this memory lane because a lot of things are happening just to underscore the relationship that I have enjoyed with my brother, friend, compatriot and leader till now that I’m  governor.”

While expressing gratitude on behalf of his Prosperity Administration to Senator Dickson, the governor called on those in his government and his party (Peoples Democratic Party) to continue to give glory to God for still maintaining and controlling political power in the state.

The state helmsman also advised his supporters and political associates to ensure that their structure remains intact ahead of the next elections.

Speaking earlier, Senator Dickson said as  part of the yuletide festivities, he came to pay homage and solidarity to the number one citizen of the state as a mark of respect as well as reciprocate the earlier gesture of the governor when he visited  him at his country home in Toru-Orua community.

He asserted that Diri is his friend, brother, colleague and ally whose relationship is treasured beyond party affiliation.

While calling on people of the state to support the present administration, Dickson stressed that those in government must work with unity of purpose.

Present during the visit were the Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, other legislators, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Konbowei Benson, commissioners, other top government functionaries, traditional rulers as well as party stalwarts and political associates.

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Gov Diri Swear-in four new High Court Judges in Bayelsa State

The Judges took the oath of office on Thursday inside the Executive Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa, based on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

They include a former Registrar of the state High Court, James  Lookie, a Law lecturer at the Niger Delta University, Dr. Simon Amaduobogha, and legal practitioners, Mrs. Christine Enegesi and Mrs. Patience Zuofa-Diri.

Governor Diri congratulated the new judicial officers on their appointment and elevation, urging them to serve the people with unfailing honour and commitment.

He commended the NJC, the state Judicial Service Commission, the state Chief Judge and the Chief Justice of Nigeria for facilitating the process and endorsement of their nomination from the state.

He said they were found suitable for the exalted office after meeting  some strict protocol.

The governor noted that his administration prioritises the judiciary in view of its significant role in society, stressing that it would not compromise the neutrality and independence of the judiciary as it is the last hope of the common man.

He also stated that all facilities and obligations required for the appointment of additional judges for the state’s high court have been provided and that the state looks forward to appointment of more judges in the new year.

Recalling the embarrassing invasion of the Abuja residence of Supreme Court’s Justice Mary Odili, the governor called on the relevant authorities to expedite action in order to bring those culpable to justice.

“Those responsible in that oppobrium must appropriately and expeditiously be punished for their transgression.

“These are strongholds of justice, protectors of liberty, symbol of law and order, custodians of the rule of law and embodiments of the hopes and dreams of our people. And if they can be treated with such impunity, then we are all much poorer for it.

“It is germane to restate that separation of powers should not in any way suggest division. In the end, we have a shared obligation to serve the people of Bayelsa State. We are one government united by one common purpose to deliver the hopes and dreams of the people of the state.”

Daniel Alabrah
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
December 31, 2021

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Gov Diri Signs N314.4bn Appropriation Bill Into Law

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Thursday, signed into law the state’s 2022 Appropriation Bill, which was passed by the House of Assembly. 

Governor Diri assented to the bill in his office in Government House, Yenagoa in the presence of the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, his deputy, Michael Ogbere, the House Leader, Monday Bubou, other principal officers of the assembly and top government functionaries. 

Governor Diri had in October presented to the assembly the bill tagged “Budget of Sustainable Growth” of N310,717,608,362.

Speaker of the assembly, Abraham Ingobere, however, explained that the original figure was increased by N3,747,410,619.

The governor expressed happiness that the budget was speedily passed by the assembly within the 2021 fiscal year.

He stated that his administration was working towards moving away from dependence on federal allocations by improving the state’s internally generated revenue.

Governor Diri charged those entrusted with the responsibility of collecting revenue to do more to increase the state’s revenue profile from one billion naira to N1.5 billion monthly.

The Bayelsa helmsman appreciated the House for its commitment and called for more collaboration between both arms of government for the development of the state.

His words: “The budget was laid on the floor of the house on October 20, 2021.

“It went through the legislative processes of lawmaking. It has gone through the scrutiny of the eagle eyes of the legislators and I’m happy that I have given my assent to this bill this 30th day of December 2021.

“The total budget for 2022 is as follows: Three hundred and fourteen billion, four hundred and sixty five million, eighteen thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven naira.

“We have to work as a government to move away from dependence on federal allocation, which has characterised our state government over the years. Therefore, I like to charge the officials in charge of revenue collection to ensure that in 2022 we have better figures of internally generated revenue in our state. The current revenue falls far too short of the expectations of the state government.

“As a government, we are prioritising Internally generated revenue as one that must increase under this government.”

Diri urged all Bayelsans to work with his administration for the development of the state rather than engaging in criticisms that do the state no good.

Speaking earlier, the Speaker, Abraham Ingobere, stated that the additional N3,747,410,619was necessitated by the need to include some government agencies and other areas that were not captured in the bill.

He noted that figures presented were achievable based on the key parameters used to estimate the budget.

Ingobere applauded the governor for proposing a people-oriented budget, which he said would satisfy the needs of Bayelsans in the next fiscal year as it captured projects that cut across the three senatorial districts.

The Speaker also thanked the state’s economic team for doing a comprehensive work, which made it easier for them to pass the bill.

Daniel Alabrah
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
December 30, 2021

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Gov Diri Cautions Beneficiaries Against Selling Starter Packs 

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has advised graduates of technical colleges in the state not to sell starter packs provided by the state government in order for them to become self-reliant entrepreneurs.

Governor Diri gave the advice on Tuesday in Yenagoa during the presentation of business start-up items to 400 graduates of the state-owned technical colleges.

He also directed the Commissioner for Education, Gentle Emelah, to monitor the beneficiaries in order to achieve the goals for which the science and technical colleges were set up.

The governor described the graduates as torch bearers of his Prosperity Administration, who would form the critical mass of skilled manpower in the state and take charge of the local economy.

He said: “As we are giving out these starter packs, please do not go and sell them. If you sell them, you will be selling the seed that has been planted in your life. You are expected to nurture that seed and watch it grow up and bear fruits. It is the fruits you will harvest.”

The governor expressed concern that indigenes of the state do not control the local economy, saying his administration was poised to change that narrative by equipping young Bayelsans with the necessary skills in various fields.

According to him, “there is a general shift from certification education across the world towards science and technical education. Such persons in the latter category are the ones that are becoming millionaires and billionaires. 

“You are the torch bearers of enterpreneurship in Bayelsa State. With the skills you have acquired, you are no longer going to seek for jobs. Rather than become employees, you are now going to be employers of labour.”

The state’s helmsman also urged the graduates to be the mouthpiece of the administration and defend its policies and programmes.

He said the government will complete and equip all the technical colleges in the state.

“We want to change that mindset of people depending on handouts from politicians. In the world today, most of those doing well are the young people. We want to see the young people of Bayelsa change our state for us. So, make a positive and good use of the starter packs.”

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Education, Gentle Emelah, said the starter packs consist of a complete set of tools to start out a business for each beneficiary in eleven different trade areas.

They are catering, plumbing, dress making, marine diesel/petrol mechanics, building technology/draughtsman ship and electrical installations.

Others are computer/book keeping, welding and fabrication, hairdressing, motor vehicle mechanics and mechanical engineering.

Emelah said by meeting the objectives of the government’s position statement on the science and technology education policy, the government would have a continuously refreshed pool of skilled workforce ready to address challenges.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
December 22, 2021

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Gov. Diri Disagrees With NOSDRA On Nembe Spill Investigation – Minister Overrules DG

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has expressed dissatisfaction with comments credited to the Director General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr. Idris Musa, on the legality of the state’s technical committee on the recent oil spill in Nembe Local Government Area of the state.

The NOSDRA DG was reportedly quoted to have said that the committee was illegal and also prevented the media from being part of the Joint Investigation Visit to the spillage site.

Governor Diri spoke on Monday during a courtesy visit of the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, to Government House, Yenagoa.

The minister was in the state for an on-the-spot assessment of the blowout that occurred at OML 29 Wellhead platform operated by Aiteo Exploration and Production Company Limited in Nembe.

The leak lasted for about 38 days before it was eventually stopped on December 8.

Governor Diri who described NOSDRA’s action as unacceptable, said his decision to set up the technical committee on the spill was influenced by the country’s Constitution and the laws of Bayelsa State.

He said he owed the people of Nembe the responsibility of protecting every victim affected by the spill and would leave no stone unturned in ensuring justice and full compensation for the people.

While calling on the JIV team set up by NOSDRA to be transparent and free from any form of compromise, Senator Diri, said it was unethical for Aiteo to provide logistics for the JIV.

His words: “Honourable Minister, I was not happy with the report I got from my team, particularly comments allegedly made by the DG of NOSDRA. I’m an elected governor of Bayelsa State and the number one thing about me is the wellbeing of the people, the environment and property of my state.

“I was told that the DG allegedly made comments that the committee I set up and inaugurated was an illegal committee. Also, he reportedly said that the media cannot be part of the JIV. 

“Those were the reports I received from my team. I’m happy that you have cleared the issues about the media and they would be part of it. 

“Like I said earlier, states and the federal government are supposed to work hand in gloves. I have the powers vested by the Nigerian Constitution and the laws of Bayelsa State to set up the committee within the confines of Bayelsa State and on anything that is injurious to the people of the state.

“With the way it is going, I’m not happy with the report I’m getting from my committee. Aiteo could not have been the one to provide the logistics for the JIV. And the DG of NOSDRA should be the number one person to protect the state, its team and the environment.” 

The governor however thanked the minister for coming to have a first hand knowledge of the plight of the Nembe people and Bayelsa State in general. 

Earlier, the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, said her visit was to assess the damage caused by the spill and to ensure speedy remediation.

Mrs. Ikeazor, who was accompanied by the NOSDRA DG, however said it was proper for the media to be part of the JIV and that journalists would not be prevented from visiting the site.

The minister further stated that from reports made available to her, 16,800 barrels of oil had been recovered from the polluted water.

She thanked the people of Nembe Local Government Area for their peaceful disposition during and after the spill.

She also commended the state government for the exemplary leadership demonstrated to manage the situation.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
December 21, 2021

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Gov Diri Tasks Youths On Self-reliance – Presents Starter Packs To 814 Skill Graduates As Govt Trains 317 Others

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has renewed his call on youths of the state to embrace skill acquisition programmes as a way to be self-reliant rather than depending on handouts from politicians.

Speaking in Yenagoa on Monday during the graduation ceremony of 814 students of the Diri Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme, the governor said the programme is in line with the prosperity agenda of his administration.

Also, on Monday, the Governor Diri flagged off the training and empowerment of 317 others under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) scheme.

He stressed that true progress comes from hard work. 

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as restating the desire of his administration to continually support similar empowerment programmes to improve the economic fortunes of youths and the state at large. 

The governor encouraged youths to shun acts of criminality and take advantage of government’s plans and programmes to give their lives a meaning. 

He expressed delight over the disposition of the graduates, who he said showed a determination to put their skills to use and promised to sustain the programme. 

The state helmsman expressed confidence that with the series of empowerment programmes of his administration, Bayelsans would soon start producing most of what the people of the state go out to buy. 

He commended the initiator of the scheme, Mrs. Charity Godwin, for changing the narrative about Constituency 4 in Southern Ijaw from being an area known for criminality to an entrepreneurial one. 

His words: “Indeed, today is one of my happiest days as I stand before women and boys graduating with skills. It is important that today you have skills and you will add value to yourselves and others around. This training will continue, and you will have to train others too. What Charity (Godwin) has done is flying with my vision.

“I like to call on the youths in Southern Ijaw, particularly Constituency 4, to shun all forms of criminality. Those who encourage you to do bad things do not love you. Those who love you are the ones giving you skills today and our government will continue to give you such opportunities.

“Do not go into ungodly business. Do things that will add value to yourself and your community. 

“I am happy with your spirit. I can see that you did not even wait for your starter packs before you began putting your skills to use. We will be monitoring you to see how you are developing with a view to supporting you.”

In a welcome address, the Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Federal Otokito, described the event as remarkable in the life of the administration, saying it is in line with the governor’s charge to end political praise singing and raise entrepreneurs.

He thanked Governor Diri for making the programme a reality, stressing that it would go a long way in bringing prosperity to Bayelsans. 

Delivering a programme overview, Director, Centre for Women Development, Southern Ijaw Constituency 4, Mrs. Charity Godwin, thanked the governor for giving her the opportunity to serve, saying she has been using her office to further his desire to ensure that youths and women become self-reliant.

She explained that the training lasted about one year and the students have learned various skills such as fashion design, catering, shoe making, soap making among others. 

Representatives of the beneficiaries, in their remarks, appreciated the Governor and Mrs. Godwin for the training, assuring that the skills acquired will be put to profitable use. 

Speaking during the flag-off of the SDGs skills training at the Banquet Hall in Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Diri said without developing manpower, the infrastructure being developed would not make much impact on the populace as there would be no one to manage them.

He explained that the programme involved tripartite funding but that due to the importance of capacity building, his administration took the initiative to commence the training without financial contribution from the other two partners.

He urged the beneficiaries to see themselves as ambassadors of the prosperity government and effect change in their communities through the training. 

In his opening remarks, Senior Special Assistant and Focal Person on Sustainable Development Goals, Dr. Ebiwari Wariowei, said the training is in line with government’s emphasis on Bayelsans to work to earn a living.

According to him, the programme focuses on number one and eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere and to promote sustained inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” respectively.

He thanked the Governor for approving fund for the office to enable it commence the training.

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Gov Diri Reads The Riot Act To Criminals – Rejigs Bayelsa Security Outfits, Commissions 50 Patrol Vehicles, 40 Motorbikes

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has warned criminal elements to henceforth steer clear of the State.

Governor Diri gave the warning on Tuesday during the re-launch of the state security outfit code-named Operation Doo-Akpo.

He also commissioned 50 brand new operational vehicles, 40 motorbikes and security gadgets while signing into law the Community Safety Corp Bill to streamline operations of the state security outfits.

The law brings the operations of security outfits such as the Operation Doo-Akpo, Bayelsa Volunteers and the Bayelsa Vigilantes under one umbrella.

Speaking at the event at the Peace Park in Yenagoa, Governor Diri noted that the exercise was to reinvigorate the security architecture of the state to make it more efficient and effective in crime fighting.

According to him, the operations of the state security outfit was not to usurp the functions of the conventional security agencies but to support and collaborate with them in efforts to rid the state of criminals.

While acknowledging the enormous resources used to procure the assets, Diri said the priority of his administration is to ensure the prosperty of all, which cannot be achieved without security of lives and property.

He said the timing of the relaunch as appropriate as the festive season draws closer with the attendant increase in criminal activities.

Describing crime fighting as a collective effort by all Bayelsans, he appealed to security agencies to conceal the identity of informants to encourage people to report criminal activities.

He appealed to Bayelsans to provide information to the security agencies that would lead to more effective crime fighting.

The Bayelsa helmsman thanked security agencies for their role in ensuring the relative peace in the state.

He also appreciated his predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson, for establishing the Operation Doo-Akpo in 2012, which he said has over the years assisted in combating crime.

His words: “I have just signed the Community Safety Corps Bill into law. This is intended to complement the work of the constitutional recognised security agencies. 

“The law also harmonises the special security outfits of the state under one umbrella. This means that henceforth Operation Doo-Akpo, Bayelsa Volunteers and the Bayelsa Vigilante will operate under one umbrella.

“In line with our Action Plan for security, we have made progress in changing the mindset of our operatives, enhanced intelligence gathering, reinforced our alertness and increased mobility and response time. After comprehensively and holistically evaluating the situation, we have made informed and tailored decisions, allowing us to re-engage Doo-Akpo even more effectively, strengthening performance and guaranteeing the safety and security of our people. Improving responsiveness also requires that we have the requisite equipment and assets.

“Consequently, it gives me great joy to re-launch Operation Doo-Akpo. Necessarily, the programme has been rejigged, redesigned and refreshed to be more responsive and responsible in carrying out its duties. 

“In this first phase, I am commissioning for immediate deployment 50 brand new Hilux patrol vehicles, a new state-wide command-and-control system based on Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Technology, 40 brand new motorcycles and a K-9-unit.”

Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, CP Agberebi Akpoebi (rtd), noted that the outfit had assisted in combating crime in the state, making it one of the safest states in the South- South geopolitical zone.

According to him, the swift response of Doo-Akpo to distress calls encouraged residents to believe in the capability of the outfit to ensure their safety.

Earlier, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, stated that the Community Safety Corp Bill, which harmonised activities of security outfits in the state, would assist in curbing crime, protection of government infrastructure in rural areas and engage youths of the state.

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Nembe Oil Spill – Gov. Diri Dissatisfied with Reps’ Silence

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Monday, expressed surprise over the silence of the House of Representatives on the recent oil spill in Nembe Local Government Area of the state. 

The massive spillage, which occurred on November 5 at the OML 26 Wellhead 1 facility operated by Aiteo Exploration and Production Company Limited on the Santa Barbara River, lasted more than a month before it was stopped. 

Governor Diri spoke when he received the House Committee On Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring during a courtesy visit to Government House, Yenagoa.

The governor, a former Rep, recounted his experience in the House, and charged the members to revive the vibrancy the Green Chamber was known for.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that there was nowhere in the world an oil spill would last for over a month and the people’s representatives would be silent.

His words: “I like to observe that as a part of you, the vibrancy I used to see in the House appears to be extinguishing. Please, let that spirit be revived.

“I stand by what I said during the period of the oil spill. There is nowhere in the world an oil spill of such magnitude will occur and the legislators would be silent. I drew a parallel with the oil spill ten years ago in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Here in the creeks of Bayelsa, we had a gushing oil spill for more than one full month and there was a loud silence from my own constituency, the Green Chamber. So, let us revive that vibrancy again.”

Senator Diri asserted that one does not have to be a Bayelsan to raise a motion on the spill, likening it to Boko Haram insurgency and banditry ravaging the North that every member had raised motions to see to its end.

The governor commended the robust partnership between the state and the Simbi Wabote-led Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), which he said was the only functiona federal presence within the state capital of Yenagoa.

Speaking earlier, chairman of the House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Legor Idagbo, said the legislators were in the state on oversight duties on the NCDMB.

He expressed satisfaction over the fruitful interactions with the Board.

Idagbo stressed that it is their constitutional  responsibility and part of their legislative function to strengthen the NCDMB and sponsor bills in line with current realities. 

One of such bills, according to him, is to expand local content beyond oil and gas to every other sector of the Nigerian economy.

He commended Governor Diri for his partnership with the NCDMB by providing infrastructure at the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre project, for ensuring peace and stability at the Board’s headquarters and at every of its other project sites in the state.

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