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As Gov. Diri hints of constructing ten new playing pitches across Bayelsa

Crusaders Feeders FC of Peretorugbene have emerged champions in the 5th edition of Bayelsa Governor’s Football Tournament tagged, “Prosperity Cup.”

The Peretorugbene boys defeated De Grace FC of Yenagoa in a pulsating final last night at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex via a penalty shoot out after regulation time ended one all.

Governor Douye Diri led other dignitaries that included his wives, Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Diri and Justice (Mrs.) Patience Ama Diri, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau to grace the final game of the Nigeria’s largest grassroots football competition.

In the female category, Golden Sun Sports Club emerged winners of the maiden edition, after defying the downpour to beat tournament favorites, Crystal Stars Football Club, three nil (3-0).

In a remark, Governor Douye Diri said he was proud of all participating teams, coaches, officials and organisers for the sportsmanship displayed throughout the competition.

“Your guidance mentorship have not only produced talents but discipline and focus on the players. This tournament has served the purpose of discovering potentials and talents in Bayelsa.”

“It is my firm believe that through your support, this competition will nuture the talents that will proudly represent the state and our country Nigeria.”

The Governor announced that soonest, the state will build ten playing football centres across Bayelsa to serve the purpose of hosting more of such competitions, adding that empowering youth remains a sure way to take their minds away from social vices.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, assures of his support to see that available scouts graced subsequent events for hunting of future Stars.

Speaking at the event, Director-General of competition, Ono Akpe, said the tournament has since become a hunting ground for teams across the country, with some already playing their trade abroad, adding that soonest, the Prosperity Cup will become the most popular grassroot football competition in Africa.

Crusader Feeders FC were awarded a trophy and five million naira for their victory, second place De Grace FC of Yenagoa received two million five hundred thousand naira, third place team, Agbere FC of Sagbama went home with one point five million naira, while fourth place, Dream Boys Academy of Odi (Kolokuma/Opokuma), received five hundred thousand naira.

Winners of the female category, Golden Sun Sports Club, got two hundred and fifty thousand naira for their victory, runner-up, Crystal Stars FC received one hundred and fifty thousand naira, Peremo Soccer Academy were awarded eighty thousand naira, while fourth place, Niger Delta University Queens, got fifty thousand naira.

Junior Christopher of Crusader Feeders FC emerged the highest goal scorer with twelve goals.

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Prosperity 2.0: Gov. Diri launches media campaign for 2nd term bid

….. thanks media aides for a great work

…..urges media practitioners to stop cyber bullying, work with facts

Governor Douye Diri today unveiled “Prosperity 2.0” a new media campaign to boost his re-election bid.

At the official launch of the logo today, Gov. Diri in company of the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, appreciated the Government New Media team and other social media influencers for the initiative to showcase the numerous projects and programmes of his administration.

The Governor who said he is confident of victory in the forthcoming election, charged the social media personnel to operate within the rules.

“I urge Social Media users to be authentic. There are too much lies, half-truths and prevarication in the social media, and I don’t want you as Government practitioners to also be in that group. There is so much of fake news in the social media, and I know you are not part of those peddling it.

Let us refrain from hate and cyber bullying. As Social Media aides, as you work for the government and people of Bayelsa State, we will continue to keep our eyes on you. I want to thank you profusely for all you are doing to promote our government, and I like to urge you to do more.

This has been a very good session, and whilst we are yet to commence the formal campaigns with what we have unveiled today, I release you to now start the social media campaigns for your government and for the people of Bayelsa State.

This government is not involved in drugs, but it is fighting drugs, this government is not involved in youth restiveness, but wants to empower our youths, this government is not saying that the road to Brass is of no economic value, but it is constructing road to Brass, this government wants to make sure that our living standards as Bayelsans are improved. For us, you are the foot soldiers, and don’t keep quiet when your government is being misrepresented”, Gov. Diri stated.

Social media entrepreneur and facilitator, Harry Porbeni, delivered the theme session on: The New Media Paradigm: A gateway to Prosperity.

Other dignitaries at the event include Hon. Solomon Agwanana, Chairman, People’s Democratic Party, Bayelsa State chapter, Rt. Hon. Edwin Monday Obolo, Leader of the State House of Assembly and other members of the State House of Assembly, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, Secretary to the State Government, members of the state executive council, Dr. Peter Akpe, Acting Chief of Staff, Government House, Mr. Irorodamie Komonibo, Principal Executive Secretary, Government House, HRM King Bubaraye Dakolo, AGADA IV, Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom and Chairman, Bayelsa State Council of Traditional rulers and other top government officials.

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Diri Inaugurates Germany-funded UNODC Projects In Bayelsa Community

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Wednesday, inaugurated two projects executed by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) and funded by the German government.

The projects executed in Otuan community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area are a police post and a youth development centre.

The projects also include provision of a

cassava processing equipment.

Governor Diri, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, commended the German government and the UNODC for partnering with his administration on crime prevention and promoting community development.

He said the projects executed in the community indicated that the collaboration between the state government and international development partners had yielded positive results.

The governor expressed appreciation to international development partners for working with the state government, stressing that the best way to control crime was prevention.

“I have engaged with various embassies in Nigeria. I have engaged with the United Nations and the European Union in Nigeria. Now part of the efforts that we have made and yielded fruits is what you have witnessed today.

“Thank you for working with the Bayelsa State Government and for listening over the years that the best way to control crime is to prevent crime. And that is what you have done. We believe that this relationship will continue to flourish.

“We are the first state to establish an agency for crime prevention and crime control headed by Mrs Faith Zibbs-Godwin. Members of this agency have been working very hard with the UNODC, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) and other agencies to reduce crime and drug abuse.”

Responding to the community’s requests, Senator Diri directed the Commissioner for Education to ensure the immediate renovation of the dilapidated primary school as well as supply more chairs to the school.

He also approved the expansion of the garri processing centre, construction of internal roads and installation of more solar lights in the community.

Diri equally directed Coordinator of the Bayelsa State Community Safety Corps to identify the Otuan vigilante personnel that are qualified to be incorporated into the Corps to enhance security in the community and environs.

In her remarks, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Annett Gunther, said there was need to bring communities together and fashion out strategies to combat crime.

According to her, “the aim is to increase the quality of relationship between communities and security forces as the best way to fight crime was its prevention.”

Gunther noted that the youth centre would engage young people in sports and skills acquisition in order to prevent them from substance abuse and crime.

Also, the UNODC country representative, Dr. Oliver Stolpe, said the projects were designed to empower people in the communities by changing their mindsets as well as assisting them in addressing security challenges.

He equally urged the state government to engage UNODC, Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) and other international development partners to ensure sustainable development plans for the state.

Speaking at the event, the Bayelsa Commissioner for Police, Mr Rumokere Ibani, solicited the cooperation of communities in the fight against sea piracy, kidnapping and other crimes.

Presenting an address on behalf of the community, Chief Victor Perebi Bob, said the projects and programmes instituted by the German government and UNODC would have far-reaching impact on the Otuan people and neighborhing communities.

According to him, Otuan, which is one of the three pilot communities, was without a functional police post for over a decade until UNODC provided one.

He expressed gratitude to the German Government for the gesture and listed hair-styling, detergent making, bead making and sporting activities as areas where youths will receive training.

Dignitaries at the event included the deputy governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Secretary to the State Government, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, Acting Chief of Staff, Dr Peter Akpe, Principal Secretary, Mr. Irorodamie Komonibo, State Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Solomon Agwana, Executive Chairman, State Internal Revenue Board, Dr Nimbofa Ayaowei, among other top government officials.

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Jubilation as Jonathan Inaugurates Historic Nembe, Elebele Bridges – Former President Hails Gov Diri On Projects

There was excitement in the Nembe communities of Ogbolomabiri and Bassambiri as well as in Elebele in Nembe and Ogbia local government areas respectively of Bayelsa State on Monday as former President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated two historic bridges in the communities.

The people of these communities, who trooped out in their numbers, sang the praises of Governor Douye Diri for completing the Nembe Unity Bridge linking Ogbolomabiri to Bassambiri and for constructing the Elebele Bridge, which is also a gateway to Nembe.

While inaugurating the bridge in Nembe, Dr. Jonathan applauded Senator Diri for completing the project, which he noted would help to consolidate the peace and unity between both communities.

He said Governor Diri had performed exceptionally well in infrastructure development in just two years in office.

The former president described the bridge as symbolic and urged the people of Nembe to learn to resolve their differences amicably, especially during elections rather than play politics of brigandage and violence.

His words: “You have done well to complete this bridge project. I had to come and identify with this unique ceremony. Today should mark the end of any inter-communal conflict.

“The importance of this bridge cannot be over-emphasised. From what I have seen, this bridge is expensive, well-built and solid. And I hope it will solidify the unity between the people of the two communities. 

“Politics should be a platform to bring development to our people and not to kill and chase them away from their communities. With the commissioning of this bridge, we pray that that brand of politics would also come to an end.”

Governoe Diri said the Nembe bridge had been on the drawing board since the days of Eastern Nigeria but that a former governor, who is now the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, started some construction work but the project was left till his administration took it over and completed it.

Describing the bridge as historic, the governor said the project was one that would heal wounds and engender peace and unity among the people of Nembe.

“My administration felt this is one historic and significant infrastructure that would help heal wounds. It is not only a physical bridge but a human bridge, especially between the brothers of Ogblomabiri and Bassambiri. Wherever there is war, development suffers and we lose not only infrastructure but human lives.”

Earlier, the former president and the governor visited the Amanyanabo of Nembe, Mingi XII, King Edmund Daukoru, in Ogbolomabiri and Amanyanabo of Opu-Nembe, Ogbodo VIII, King Biobelemoye Josiah, in Bassambiri. 

King Daukoru said the Nembe bridge was symbolic, noting that what it represented far outweighed the physical length of the project as there had been 

age-old differences between the two communities.

He commended Diri for completing projects that he started as well as those inherited from his predecessors, describing the gesture as a mark of true leadership.

He also appealed for the construction of the Nembe-Brass road among others.

King Josiah, on his part, commended the governor for the bridge project, noting that prior to its construction, there had been temporary bridges.

He solicited government’s support for the provision of electricity and pipe-borne water.

Also, speaking to journalists, the immediate past deputy governor of the state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), who hails from Nembe, gave thumbs up to the Diri administration for constructing the unity bridge, saying it was the first time since 1971 that a proper bridge had been built to connect both communities.

Rear Admiral Jonah, who called on  youths from both communities to sustain the existing bond of brotherhood, expressed the optimism that the project would foster more peace, unity and development.

“There had always been the desire that a bridge connects both communities. The first attempt to have a bridge was in 1971 during the administration of Alfred Diette-Spiff (in Rivers State). Since then, two bridges have been constructed – one wooden and the other steel.

“This is the first time we are getting a bridge that we need. There had been issues between the two communities. That is why it is called Unity Bridge to unite both sides.

“For Governor Diri to take this as one of the priority projects on assuming office, it is commendable. We were there for a very long time but we could not summon the courage to do it. He did what we could not do for eight years.”

In his speech, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Moses Teibowei, said the bridge was started by Chief Sylva in 2009 but was abandoned until Senator Diri awarded it in 2021 and completed it within one year.

While inaugurating the Elebele Bridge, Dr Jonathan said its construction by the Diri administration was a message to the multinational oil companies that Niger Deltans states were capable of helping themselves.

According to him, Elebele had been host to oil giants, Shell, for decades but it failed to build a solid bridge for the community.

He noted that its successful construction was proof that it was possible to build a solid bridge instead of the temporary ones that Shell previously constructedl.

He applauded the governor for embarking on the project, which he said is of  economic importance not only to the Ogbia people but also the people of Nembe.

Jonathan said: “Elebele has been producing oil for years and Shell has been building temporary bridges every two years. Today, you have saved us. You have not only saved the people of Elebele but also the Ogbia people.

“You have also in a way communicated to the IOCs that we can help ourselves. There is no reason Shell could not build a bridge here but God wanted you to take the glory.

“Today is unique because the bridge is quite important not only to the Elebele people. Elebele serves like an interchange for people going from Ogbia to Nembe. That is why this bridge is so important to all of us.”

Governor Diri stated that he embarked on the project due to its political, economic and social importance to the people of Ogbia and Nembe local government areas.

The Bayelsa helmsman appreciated the community for cooperating with the construction company and the government to ensure the successful completion of the bridge.

He advised youths in other communities to emulate the Elebele youths, who saw the bridge as their own and did not embark on any protest or kidnap workers while the project lasted.

He also thanked the contractors, Paache Construction Limited, for a job well done.

Earlier, chairman of Ogbia Local Government Area, Ebiyon Turner, appreciated the governor for  the project and expressed the support of the Ogbia people for his administration.

In his speech, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Moses Teibowei, said the bridge, which collapsed in 2019, was built within 12 months.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor

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It’s Time to End Banditry in The North, Gov. Diri Urges FG – Commiserates with Sultan Over Late Danbaba, Victims of Insurgency

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called on the Federal Government to make concerted effort to bring to an end the banditry and terrorism ravaging states in the northern part of the country.

Governor Diri lamented that too many lives have been lost to the insurgency, saying the Federal Government must do all in its powers to end the scourge.

He spoke on Friday at the palace of Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar III in Sokoto when he paid a condolence visit alongside Governor Aminu Tambuwal over the death of a member of the Sultanate Council, Alhaji Hassan Danbaba.

The late Danbaba was the Magajin-gari Sokoto and a grandson of the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello.

While commiserating with the Sultan, Governor Tambuwal and people of Sokoto State, the Bayelsa governor said the late Danbaba was dear to the state and Nigeria, noting that his sudden demise was a shock not only to the people of Sokoto but indeed the whole country.

He explained that he would have visited earlier when he first heard about the sad loss but that activities marking the second anniversary of his administration, which just ended, delayed him.

He said: “Your Eminence, I am here on behalf of the good people of Bayelsa State and my Prosperity Administration to commiserate with you, the governor and people of Sokoto State.

“Death is a necessary end that will come when it will come. None of us has control over it.

“Our prayer is that whenever we come to Sokoto, it would not be as a result of death again. Instead, we will come to this great kingdom to be happy and make merriment with you.

“We are also not unaware of the banditry that has claimed so many lives in this state and other parts of the North. Again, on behalf of the people of my state, I commiserate with you over the lives that have been lost.

“I therefore call on the Federal Government and the military to redouble their effort to stop the banditry in the North. We are like a system where one part of the country is sick, the rest of the country is also sick. We cannot fold our arms in Bayelsa State believing that all is well when it is not well with our brothers in Sokoto.

“I appeal to the Federal Government to do all it would take to stop the banditry so our people can breathe and sleep with their two eyes closed. So that they can go about their legitimate businesses without fear of being attacked.”

The Bayelsa helmsman, who commended his Sokoto counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, for the level of development in the state, said evidence abound that he is working like other People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governors in the country.

“Like the National Chairman of our party said, Governor Tambuwal is working. I am even taken aback by the level of development I have seen in the state. I pray that God will provide the resources for him to continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of Sokoto.”

In his remarks, Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar III thanked Governor Diri for the visit and for identifying with people of the state in their moment of grief.

His words: “At the appointed time, every one of us will answer the great call. It is only the Almighty God that knows when is the appointed time.”

The Sultan commended the governor on his second anniversary in office and for providing what he described as very strong leadership as attested to by many leaders in the country.

He prayed for God’s guidance to continue to steer the ship of Bayelsa on the path of peace and development.

Governor Diri was accompanied on the visit by a former Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Shagari, Amb. Boladei Igali, the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Clan, King Bubaraye Dakolo and Brig-Gen. Eric Angaye.

Others are a former House of Reps member, Hon. Gabriel Onyenwife, another former Rep, Hon. Ali Isa and the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Irorodamie Komonibo.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
February 25, 2022

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