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[BREAKING] GbaramatuVoice Publisher, Abai meets with Governor Diri ahead of 6th anniversary event in Lagos

The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, today reaffirmed his participation in the forthcoming GbaramatuVoice 6th Anniversary Lecture slated for Tuesday August 10, 2021 at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

This was made known by the governor during a brief but fruitful meeting with the Publisher, Jacob Abai.

While giving his blessing to the programme, the governor added that he is in full support of the GbaramatuVoice initiative.

GbaramatuVoice had earlier rolled out highlights of Its Forthcoming 6th Anniversary Programme.

The newspaper announced for the attention of the general public details of programmes lined up to mark its forthcoming 6th Anniversary Lecture/Niger Delta Awards.

Specifically, the anniversary celebration/lecture has as its central theme: Dwindling State of Crude Oil Demand in the Global Market: The Way Forward. Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, will be the keynote Speaker. Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is the Special Guest of Honour, The Executive Governor of Bayelsa state, the Host, The Executive Governor of Lagos State as the Chief Host while Senator (Dr) Ifeany Okowa will Chair the Occasion.

Other dignitaries expected at the lecture/award giving ceremony include but not limited to; traditional rulers from the Niger Delta, captain of industries within and outside the country, executives of International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country, public office holders from the Niger Delta region, leaders of specialized groups in Nigeria, among others.

The anniversary lecture will centre on critical new research themes as sustainable development goals in the Niger Delta. Its deliberations will address all spectra of analyses including the oil and gas industry.

This Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos edition is the 3rd in the series and comes after Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers States, respective editions.

It has a rich history of promoting national unity, recognizing the good works of various individuals that have positively imprinted their names in various areas of endeavors while contributing to the life chances of humanity.

List of eminent Awardees made up of Nigerians and Non Nigerians drawn from different sectors of human endeavors through rigorous but transparent process shall be made known to the general public in due course.

By Gbenga Nicholas 

Nigerian Navy launches Operation ‘Beni Kekere’ exercise, deploys warships, helicopters

“The exercise nicknamed “Beni Kekere” meaning ‘Water Protection’ in Ijaw language aptly captures the primary responsibility of the NN, which is to protect Nigeria’s maritime environment against all threats.

By Ebi Perekeme 

The Nigerian Navy, yesterday, said it has deployed more warships and helicopters to tackle maritime crime in the Eastern waters.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Sanusi Ibrahim, said eight ships, two helicopters were deployed in a week-long sea exercise tagged “Operation Beni Kekere” on Monday, July 26, 2021 in a statement signed by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Commander Thomas Otuji.

The Joint Eastern and Central Naval Commands had inaugurated the sea exercise in Port Harcourt, Rivers.

Rear Adm. Ibrahim said that the sea exercise would also include anti-piracy operations, protection of oil facilities, as well as search and rescue operations.

“The exercise nicknamed “Beni Kekere” meaning ‘Water Protection’ in Ijaw language aptly captures the primary responsibility of the NN, which is to protect Nigeria’s maritime environment against all threats.

“The exercise involves a multi-faceted deployment of the two Commands’ assets both at sea and in the backwaters, and is aimed at demonstrating our operational capabilities to securing our contiguous Areas of Responsibility (AoR).

“Our area of responsibility falls within the Niger Delta region in line with the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Awwal Gambo’s Strategic Directive 2021,” the FOC said.

Rear Adm. Ibrahim said that the exercise would equally present an opportunity for the NN to showcase its commitment to the regional security arrangement in the Gulf of Guinea of which Nigeria is a major stakeholder.

“Nigeria’s maritime domain is dominant in the Gulf of Guinea with its enormous resources and it remains strategic to our national security and development.

“We are also conscious that these resources have been persistently threatened by piracy, sea robbery, crude oil theft and illegal bunkering as well as illegal unreported and unregulated fishing among other crimes.

“The NN and other security agencies have achieved landmark feats in curtailing these threats, the persistence of the perpetrators requires us to re-strategise in order to consistently deny them freedom of action,” he said.

The FOC said that it was in this regard that the Eastern and Central Naval Commands were embarking on the joint exercise , which he said was the first of its kind in recent years.

“This is to consolidate on the successes of the ongoing Operation CALM WATERS.

“Concurrently, the operational bases and Naval Security Stations (NSS) in the two commands will conduct clearance operations against criminals’ hideouts, and illegal refineries in the ‘Backwaters’ in collaboration with Op DELTA SAFE.

“I am positive that the joint exercise will add impetus to the CNS aspiration for improved maritime combat readiness of the NN through training,” Ibrahim said.

He said that the sea exercise would equally provide the necessary ‘bite’ to the Nation’s anti piracy law that was recently passed by the National Assembly.

He recalled that a Federal High Court passed judgement against 10 notorious pirates arrested by the NN on May 15.

“On behalf of the Eastern and Central Naval Commands, I express our profound appreciation to the CNS for providing the necessary support for the execution of this exercise.

“We shall continue to work assiduously to accomplish the NN’s quest for a safe and secure maritime environment,” the FOC said.

Also, the FOC Central Naval Command, Rear Adm. Kennedy Egbuchulam, said that the reason for the maiden joint operations was because criminals at sea do not respect defined sea boundaries.

“Several times, criminals in the pursuit of their crimes used to criss-cross the defined boundaries between the two commands.

“The essence is for us to enhance our collaboration and inter operability which will give us a greater cooperation in the cause of our going after these criminals that operate in our waters.

“Therefore, we will collaborate together such that wherever the criminals are, whether in the Eastern or Central Command, we will be good to get at them,” Egbuchulam said.

Also speaking, Commodore Olusanya Bankole , the Officer in Tactical Command, Fleet Commander, Central Naval Command, said that the exercise would include six port operational bases.

Commodore Bankole said that five of the ships had already departed on Sunday for the sea exercise and that they would be joined by others.

“We also have the air assets and elements of the SBS that will be deployed with us and the exercise is of a continuous nature. ”

“I thank the FOC’s for allowing us to deploy the assets under their command and assure them that the assets will be used justifiably,” he said.

Former President Jonathan meets with INC leadership, preaches Ijaw unity

By Our Correspondent 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has called on leaders and stakeholders of Ijaw Nation to shun divisiveness and work together in love and unity for the collective interest of Ijaw people in Nigeria.

Jonathan made the call at the weekend when the national executives of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) accompanied by the central zone officials of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

According to him, the relevance of the Ijaw ethnic nationality as a minority group is being threatened because they don’t exist within one location, except in Bayelsa State where their homogeneity is very pronounced.

He urged well-positioned Ijaw sons and daughters to sacrifice for the people and to also place collective interest above personal gains, stressing that the differences among Ijaw should not jeopardise their unity.

Jonathan said the INC and the IYC have a huge role to play in ensuring the unity of the Ijaw people, especially among the political class, warning that political contestations must not be allowed to disunite them.

“But the key point about us is the unity of the Ijaw people. And that is key. We are not too many in terms of physical numbers. We are widely spread, not concentrated in a geographical area, so our relevance is threatened along many states.

“Apart from Bayelsa State where we have a majority or almost the whole population, others are spread thinly (in other states). And people like this need to be united to make an impact. The collective interest of Ijaw should take precedence and people must sacrifice because of the interest of Ijaw land.”

The former President congratulated the INC executives on their successful election and subsequent inauguration, and commended them for the programmes and activities they hold to promote the Ijaw cause.

He also thanked them for the visit and encouraged them to feel free to seek his involvement in any issue, adding that he was ready to play his role in service to Ijaw land.

Earlier, the INC President, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, had expressed gratitude to Jonathan for supporting Governor Douye Diri to ensure a hitch-free election of the apex Ijaw socio-cultural organisation, which had been adjudged to be very free and credible.

Okaba, a professor of Sociology at the Federal University, Otuoke, said his leadership hit the ground running soon after their inauguration on May 14, “to drive the Ijaw agenda for resource justice, restructuring and internalisation of the Ijaw struggle for self-determination and self-actualisation.”

While enumerating some achievements recorded by his leadership, he also informed the former president that the INC was working towards holding an all-Ijaw summit to appraise the Ijaw question and future in the Nigerian State.

Shell begins major divestment of shallow, onshore assets in Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell has launched a major divestment of its Nigerian assets, especially those in the shallow water and onshore, several sources familiar with the matter said yesterday.

Sources close to the company disclosed that the oil giant had already hired Standard Chartered Bank to sell its Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) subsidiary, in deal which could be one of the hugest in the oil and gas industry in Africa ever.

When contacted, a Shell spokesman, who confirmed the talks, told ThisDay last night that although consultations were ongoing about the planned sale, they were still at the early stages.

“Discussions with the Nigerian government are ongoing on the next steps for our onshore business in Nigeria. We are in the early stages of reviewing the commercial options,” the shell official stated.

Sources close to the transaction said that sale documents were issued earlier this week and Expressions of Interest (EoI) are due by September 10, with the vendor asking for non-binding offers in the subsequent second phase.

The source said: “Shell is selling the business because it no longer views its activities in the Niger Delta as core to its ongoing strategy, which is driven by the pressure from its investors, as confirmed by its CEO earlier this year.

“Also, several of the Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) have upcoming development costs, which Shell does not intend to fund, one of the sources added, but noted that the company will still retain its deep water assets in the country.

“The business will be worth several billions of dollars and Shell will want full-value offers for the deal but is strategically driven in this disposal and will likely prefer low execution risk to waiting for a knockout offer.

“It is very likely too large for any single acquiror,” another source said, adding that the valuation will ultimately be derived from different views on the separate assets, the shallow-water fields, the onshore fields and the infrastructure, for which there could be separate buyers.

The source adds: “Alternatively, Shell may sell portions of equity in the whole of SPDC to different consortia of buyers. But either way, buyers will need to have a local Nigerian element, it was understood.
“Several options were being weighed, because while private equity would struggle with the associated risk and with the expected necessary investment in the portfolio, public-listed entities would struggle to raise equity to execute the deal, given the ESG-derived sentiment for oil and gas in the public markets.

“Local sponsors may be interested, but this would constitute a very transformational deal, and would need significant lender support, the source said, noting that an international, private group with operating expertise, for example Perenco, or a Chinese player might make most sense.”

The SPDC Joint Venture (JV) is co-owned with Eni via its NAOC subsidiary with five per cent, TotalEnergies via its Total E&P Nigeria subsidiary with 10 per cent, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with the remaining 55 per cent.

In May, Royal Dutch Shell’s Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, while speaking at the company’s annual general meeting, said that Shell could no longer afford to be exposed to the risk of theft and sabotage.

Shell, operator of Nigeria’s onshore oil and gas joint venture SPDC, has struggled for years with spills in the Niger Delta as a result of vandalism, as well as operational issues, leading to costly repair operations and high-profile lawsuits. Many people, however, blame the company for the degradation in the Niger Delta environment.

In February, a Dutch court held Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary responsible for multiple oil pipeline leaks in the Niger Delta and ordered it to pay damages to farmers, leading van Beurden to call its Nigerian onshore assets a “headache”.

The company’s onshore joint venture SPDC has sold about 50 per cent of its oil assets over the past decade, with its stake in SPDC giving it 156,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent in 2020, of which 66,000 barrels were oil.

SPDC operates the company’s shallow-water and onshore asset interests via its 30 per cent interest in the SPDC joint venture, which supplies around 10 per cent of Nigeria’s gas demand.

It owns 360 producing oil wells, 60 producing gas wells and a network of 4,000 kilometres of oil and gas pipelines and flowlines, according to the Shell website.

On January 15, this year, SPDC completed the sale of its 30 per cent interest in OML 17 in the Eastern Niger Delta, and associated infrastructure, to TNOG Oil and Gas Ltd, a related company of Heirs Holdings Ltd and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, for a consideration of $533 million.

In 2020, output from the SPDC JV, together with Shell’s SNEPCo subsidiary, fell from the record highs of 2019 but, at around 620kbpd of oil equivalent, remained close to the five-year average of 625,000bpd.

Chevron invests over $100m for economic development of Niger Delta region – Report

A report steaming from a study undertaken by Georgetown University revealed that Chevron Corp has made a significant investment of over $100 million channeled towards the development across major sectors Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

This report was revealed in a study which interrogated claims and established findings from Chevron and U.S. Agency for International Development, (USAID)’s efforts to improve stability in the region.

Business for Impact at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, together with research partner Frontier Design, announced the new study that analyzes 10 years of partnership-building and investment by Chevron and USAID, through the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) in the region.

The research focused on a broad suite of projects across different sectors that resulted in increased economic development, job creation, and stability in this region.

The case study also provides lessons learned and recommendations for public-private partnerships going forward. The findings will be released at a virtual launch event open to the public on Friday, July 30, 2021.

Chevron and USAID invested more than $50 million during the 10-year period and since 2010 PIND has catalyzed over $100 million in additional investments into the Niger Delta.

The investment targeted training for farmers to pursue agriculture as a business, strengthen the systems to bring these products to market in Niger Delta and beyond, improve food security and economic growth in communities all over the region and contributing to sustainability through short term grants.

“Our research findings underscore the power of bringing together like-minded and purposeful organizations dedicated, in this case, to achieving a more prosperous and stable Niger Delta,” says Leslie Crutchfield, executive director of Business for Impact and one of the study’s editors.

“The authors have unearthed important insights and lessons learned that can help inform future public-private partnerships, whether in Nigeria or in other Global South countries.”

Delta-born Popular Nollywood actress, Rachel Oniga is dead

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By Gbenga Ojo

A Veteran Nollywood actress, Rachael Oniga has been reportedly dead.

Reports of her death filtered in on Saturday morning and Bimbo Oshin, also a notable name in the movie industry, posted the news on Instagram page.

“Heaven has just gained another beautiful soul. Aunty Racheal. Ha!” she wrote on Instagram.

There are unverified reports that she died at a COVID-19 Isolation Centre in Lagos .

She began her acting career in 1993, shortly after her divorce. She worked briefly at Ascoline Nigeria Limited, a Dutch Consultant Company before her first movie titled Onome and her debut Yoruba movie was Owo Blow.

Over the years, Oniga has featured in notable Nigerian films such as Sango, a movie scripted by Wale Ogunyemi, produced and directed by Obafemi Lasode and Wale Adenuga’s television series, Super story.

Before she made her major acting debut in Nollywood with “Onome,” Oniga worked briefly at Ascoline Nigeria Limited, a Dutch Consultancy firm.

The deceased that born on 23 May, 1957, in Ebute Metta, Lagos and began her acting career in 1993 hailed from Eku in Delta State.

Governor Okowa swears in Amgbaduba, 10 others as commissioners

By Ebi Perekeme

The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has sworn in the former Commissioner for Oil and Gas in the state, Chief Emmanuel Amgbaduba, and 10 others as state commissioners with a charge to them to promote unity in their utterances and actions and eschew mutual suspicion.

Others sworn in on Thursday include Prof Patrick Muoboghare, Hon Chika Ossai, Hon Basil Ganagana, Chief Emmanuel Amgbaduba, Dr Mordi Ononye, Hon. Ovie Oghoore, Barrister (Mrs) Bridget Ayanfulu, Hon Solomon Golley, Barr Isaiah Bozimo, Hon Henry Sakpra, Barr. Jennifer Oma Adasen.
Eighteen commissioners had earlier been sworn in thereby bringing the total number of members of the state executive council to twenty-nine of which seven of them are women.

The governor advised the new commissioners to avoid issues that would breed distrust, exclusion and resentment among the people, saying that they emerged through a rigorous selection process that was necessary, especially as the administration entered a critical phase in its tenure.

According to him, Delta had broken the frontiers of female representation in government with the appointment of seven female commissioners and 17 Vice Chairmen of local government councils as well as other statutory positions of responsibility in governance.

“With today’s swearing-in, we have concluded the process of reconstituting the State Executive Council that was dissolved a little over two months ago.

“With two more female commissioners, the State Executive Council now has a total of seven women, further extending the frontiers of female representation in this government.

He stated that his administration had made significant breakthroughs in its quest to build a Stronger Delta standing on the tripod of Prosperity, Peace and Progress.

He averred that his administration had successfully anchored the entrepreneurship development programmes with over 100,000 youths being empowered to become self-employed and employers of labour.

The governor urged the commissioners to brace up and work towards achieving the administration’s set targets within the remaining period of his term in office.

Is education still key to success?

By Kasim Isa Muhammad

Education  is the bedrock of development. If the education system in the country can be revised to emphasise the practical aspect of study and particularly entrpreneurship, there is a great tendency that youths will be self-reliant and employers of labour.This is because they must  have developed  knowledge in technology and had productive knowledge for the future.

Education can be the key to success if the government, at all levels, can create a technical support platform for undergraduates to learn how to transform their knowledge into something useful for the nation.

Also, education can be considered a key to success when the students acquired good studies from tutors that are well known and have experience in teaching. The government needs to look for  quality teachers, put them at the forefront, pay them good salaries, and equip the educational buildings with modern materials. If the students go through such a way of acquiring knowledge, education can be described  as key to success.

There is no doubt that education is the key to the problem in every human society, but, unfortunately in Nigeria, the case is completely different, where graduates roam the streets looking for jobs. However, in the developed countries, students are taught to invest in entrepreneurship.

Recent statistics establishes that 25 million graduates are unemployed in the country, indicating that the government cannot employ the high population of the graduates, thus, there is a need for government at all levels to think and rethink in providing job opportunities for our teeming youths.

Nonetheless, the government is doing its best  to reduce unemployment with many programmes initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The N-power is a good example. The programme was solely established to reduce the level of unemployment bedeviling the country, but unfortunately, many Nigerians are misusing the money given to them that will help them to invest in entrepreneurship.

Yes, education is still a key to success when some skills are acquired. What many of our graduates  do not know is that skill is sometimes more important  than a certificate. It is obvious that in the real world people need to see what you can give, not what you have.

We all need to wake up from our deep slumber because the government cannot do it alone. We need to use the skills that we acquired to help find lasting solutions to problems bedeviling the country.
 
Muhammad is a 300-Level student of   University of Maiduguri.

2023: Another prominent Delta PDP chieftain set to decamp to APC

By Ebi Perekeme 

There are indications that a prominent Delta chieftain and Burutu leader, Dr. Anthony Ebitonmo Alapala, is set to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Dr. Anthony Ebitonmo Alapala with the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege at the weekend

Alapala, former PDP House of Assembly aspirant in the 2018 primary for Burutu North constituency confirmed to GbaramatuVoice on telephone his defection to APC.

He said he would formally announce his exit from the Peoples Democratic Party at a press conference in Burutu with his teaming followers and supporters. 

Ebitonmo said he concluded plans to defect to the APC after consultations with some prominent politicians and leaders, including Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege whom he met at the weekend.

He said also had discussions with the leadership of the Delta State chapter of the APC on his plan to join the party.

Osinbajo, Jonathan, Sanwo-Olu, Okowa among dignitaries to grace GbaramatuVoice 6th anniversary

The GbaramatuVoice newspaper has announced that Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, former president Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state will be among dignitaries expected at its forthcoming 6th Anniversary Lecture/Niger Delta Awards.

The event is slated for Tuesday, August 10, 2021, by 10:00am, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos State.


 
This was contained in a recent statement personally signed by Jacob Abai, the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer and made available to newsmen in Lagos.
 
According to the statement, the anniversary/lecture has its central theme dubbed: “Dwindling State of Crude Oil Demand in the Global Market: The Way Forward.”

The Executive Governors of Bayelsa and Delta states, Senator Douye Diri, will be the Host, while Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, will Chair the Occasion respectively. 

ALSO READ: GbaramatuVoice rolls out highlights of Its forthcoming 6th anniversary programme 
 
Other dignitaries expected at the lecture/award giving ceremony include but not limited to; traditional rulers from the Niger Delta, captain of industries within and outside the country, executives of International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country, public office holders from the Niger Delta region, leaders of specialized groups in Nigeria, among others. 
 
Abai stated further that the anniversary/lecture will centre on critical new research themes as sustainable development goals in the Niger Delta. Its deliberations will address all spectra of analyses including the oil and gas industry.
 
He noted that the present event billed for Eko Hotels and Suites, is the 3rd in the series and comes after similar ones held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers States, respectively.
 
It has a rich history of promoting national unity, recognizing the good works of various individuals that have positively imprinted their names in various areas of endeavors while contributing to the life chances of humanity.
 
List of eminent Awardees made up of Nigerians and Non-Nigerians drawn from different sectors of human endeavors through rigorous but transparent process shall be made known to the general public in due course.

Contact us on gbaramatuvoice@gmail.com or Call +2348143459986

GbaramatuVoice rolls out highlights of Its forthcoming 6th anniversary programme 

PRESS RELEASE
Saturday July 24, 2021
Lagos, Nigeria,

GbaramatuVoice rolls out highlights of Its Forthcoming 6th Anniversary Programme

The GbaramatuVoice newspaper announced for the attention of the general public details of programmes lined up to mark its forthcoming 6th Anniversary Lecture/Niger Delta Awards.

It is slated for Tuesday August 10, 2021, by 10:00am, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

Specifically, the anniversary celebration/lecture has as its central theme: Dwindling State of Crude Oil Demand in the Global Market: The Way Forward. Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, will be the keynote Speaker. Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, is the Special Guest of Honour, The Executive Governor of Bayelsa state, the Host, The Executive Governor of Lagos State as the Chief Host while Senator (Dr) Ifeany Okowa will Chair the Occasion.

Other dignitaries expected at the lecture/award giving ceremony include but not limited to; traditional rulers from the Niger Delta, captain of industries within and outside the country, executives of International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country, public office holders from the Niger Delta region, leaders of specialized groups in Nigeria, among others.

The anniversary lecture will centre on critical new research themes as sustainable development goals in the Niger Delta. Its deliberations will address all spectra of analyses including the oil and gas industry.

This Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos edition is the 3rd in the series and comes after Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers States, respective editions.

It has a rich history of promoting national unity, recognizing the good works of various individuals that have positively imprinted their names in various areas of endeavors while contributing to the life chances of humanity.

List of eminent Awardees made up of Nigerians and Non Nigerians drawn from different sectors of human endeavors through rigorous but transparent  process shall be made known to the general public in due course.

Signed:

Jacob Abai,
Publisher/CEO

Navy releases impounded vessel to owner in Warri

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta has handed over MV Platform Care I vessel to its owner, Blut Logistics Limited.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the impounded vessel was released to the owner on Friday at the Naval Base, Warri, sequel to directives from the Naval headquarters.

NAN also reports that the Executive Officer, NNS Delta, Cdr. Levi Deyin, signed the release on behalf of Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, and Commander, NNS Delta, Commodore Abdulhamid Baba-Inna.

The vessel was confiscated by the Navy in February 2020, following alleged failure to have proper documents of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

Addressing the representatives of Blut Logistics Ltd., Deyin stressed the need for operators to always have their relevant documents during operations.

“In line with naval headquarters’ directive to release Platform Care l to the owners, I, Cdr. L. D. Deyin, on behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff and the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship, Delta, hand over the vessel to you.

“You are warned to always obtain necessary documents for your activities,” Deyin told representatives of the company.

NAN also reports that the vessel was released to representatives of the company in the presence of Sub-Lt. Richard Oluwaferanmi, Officer-in-charge of NIMASA Central Zone.

SEVERE FLOOD ALERT: 28 states at risk of flooding — How prepared are the Niger Delta states?

What proactive steps are we taking to nip this looming danger by the bud? Or are we going to wait for the flood to come in order to continue with our public leadership reactive mentality?

In the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) report, 121 Local Government areas (LGAs) in 27 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were listed as “probable flood risk” places.

The states are Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara.

Please leave your comments and suggestion below…

How Nigeria lost N53.26bn to gas flared by oil companies in two months

By Ebi Perekeme

Nigeria lost an estimated N53.26bn in the first two months of this year as international oil companies and local players flared a total of 33.04 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas.

The oil companies wasted 17.53 billion scf of gas in February, compared to 15.51 billion scf in February, according to data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

With the price of natural gas put at $3.93 per 1,000scf as of Wednesday, the 33.04 billion scf flared translates to an estimated loss of $129.85m or N53.26bn (using the official exchange rate of N410.13/dollar).

The NNPC, in its latest monthly report, said out of the 206.05 billion scf produced in February, a total of 133.06 billion scf was commercialised, consisting of 40.15 billion scf and 92.91 billion scf for the domestic and export market respectively.

It said this implied that 64.48 per cent of the average daily gas produced was commercialised while the balance of 35.52 per cent was re-injected, used as upstream fuel gas or flared.
Gas flare rate was 7.67 per cent in February (i.e. 565.52 million standard cubic feet per day), compared to 7.73 per cent in January (i.e. 554.01 million scfd).

In January, a total of 223.55 billion scf of natural gas was produced, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 million scfd.

Out of the total gas output in January, a total of 149.24 billion scf was commercialised, consisting of 44.29 billion scf and 104.95 billion scf for the domestic and export markets respectively.

This indicates that 67.15 per cent of the daily gas output was commercialised while the balance of 32.85 per cent was re-injected, used as upstream fuel, or flared, the NNPC said.

According to the revised payment regime for gas flaring, oil firms producing 10,000 barrels of oil or more per day will pay $2 per 1,000 standard cubic feet of gas, compared to N10 per 1,000 scf in the past.

Firms producing less than 10,000 barrels of oil per day will pay a gas flare penalty of $0.5 per 1,000 scf.

The penalties paid by oil and gas companies for flaring gas in the country will be invested to build midstream gas infrastructure in host communities, according to a new provision introduced into the Petroleum Industry Bill by the National Assembly.

“Moneys received from gas flaring penalties by the commission (Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission) pursuant to this subsection, shall be transferred to the Midstream Gas Infrastructure Fund for investment in midstream gas infrastructure within the host communities of the settlor on which the penalties are levied,” the Senate and House of Representatives said in subsection (4) of section 104 of the bill.

NIMASA to convert Technical College, Okoloba to Maritime University’s campus

By Our Correspondent

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh has assured that the agency would not allow its facilities at the NIMASA Science and Technology College NSTC, Okoloba to waste, but would rather convert them a campus of the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU), Okerenko, Delta State.

Established in 2012 in Bomadi Local Government of Delta State, the NSTC was designed to be a demonstration secondary school NMU under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme NSDP as graduates from the school would be admitted directly into the maritime university but the school was shut few years after.

Part of the curricular of the NSTC was that every student was made to choose a trade subject comprising Nautical Science, Marine Engineering, Computer Science/Engineering and Transport Management, among several others, which were designed in line with the courses offered at the maritime university to enhance seamless admission into the NMU.

The DG, who made this disclosure during a recent chat with maritime journalists in Lagos, noted that he was excited when he discovered that the structures and facilities at the NSTC were of very high standards and thus resolved that such facilities and structures built with tax payers’ money would not be allowed to waste.

He noted that his first attempt at putting the school to use was to write the Delta State Government to take over the school since the running of a school was not part of main specialty areas of NIMASA, adding the Ministry of Education of the state would be in a better position to put the school to optimum use.

He however regretted that till date, he has not received any response from the government whether in the positive or negative, a development that made him to take the second action, which was to dispatch a delegation of procurement officers of the agency, who came with the report that the college had quality facilities and structures, which excited him.

The DG, who also disclosed that the agency has paid off all contractors’ outstanding debts, assured that the structures in the school comprising lecture theatres, classroom blocks, college halls, cafeteria, staff quarters, offices, inner roads and a swimming pool, among several others, which are more than 90per cent completed would all be fully completed and handed to the university, which is also funded by the agency.

Jamoh stated: “I have two proposals for the school, it is either we turn it into a skill acquisition center and make it private, or we deploy a carrot and stick approach which involves some of the Niger Delta youths that want skill in terms of ship repairs, in terms of building small craft ships and they would come there to learn.

“The second option is to turn the place to a campus of Nigerian Maritime University. We are still working on these two positions; we are yet to come out with a plan on what we need to do, but preferably, we would like to hand the facility over to the university after completion; this would be the best way to handle that mighty edifice and investment.

“The cost of maintaining the school was too high; we were directed by the ministry of education that every agency that is not specialized in terms of education should keep off on the issue of education, so we had to keep off on the issue of Maritime University Okerenkoko and we had to keep off on the technical college Okoloba. But with the University in Okerenkoko, every year, we provide funding for them so that it would not die.

“On the technical college, we wrote the Delta State Government to come and take it over, because it is not our specialty area.

‘‘For a long time, they didn’t respond, until I sent delegates to the school, when they came back with pictures, I was fascinated by the large structure.

“It doesn’t matter where it is situated, it is Nigeria’s money that was invested there, but now weeds have taken over the school. I asked the procurement department to go and evaluate what happened at the school, many of the contractors complained that they were not paid; I directed that the contractors should go back to the site and I paid their money. Now they are back to the site,” he said.

Recall that the school had graduated the first three sets of students under the Secondary School Certificate Examination SSCE but was shut in 2016, having graduated the first three sets, as it could not admit more students when the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party PDP government, under which the project started lost the presidential election to the currently ruling All Progressives Congress APC.

Olu of Warri-designate releases official photos ahead of coronation ceremony 

By Princess Okoh

The 21st Olu of Warri-designate, Omoba Tsola Emiko has released some photos ahead of his coronation and installation ceremony!

Dressed in red and white attire with royal beads and a black staff, the new King oozes royalty in the new photos.

The official coronation and installation ceremony is scheduled to hold on Saturday, August 21, 2021 in Ode Itsekiri.

Peep the Olu designate’s photos below…


Senate’s rejection of Lauretta Onochie: A refreshing act of patriotism 

Can 65 year old Onochie, a die-in-the-wool APC fanatic, pick up the Holy Bible (as a Christian) and swear that if she had been cleared by the Senate as INEC Commissioner, she would have been truly unrestrained, unconstrained, bold, individualist, and liberated from the apron strings of Buhari and the APC? I think not, or, do you?

BY CHIEF MIKE OZEKHOME, SAN, OFR, Ph.D

I think for once, something good has come out of Egypt.At least just for once. The Senate firmly rejected the nomination of Ms Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner representing Delta state. This happened just before the anti-democracy and anti-people National Assembly (NASS) – INEC electronic transmission transfixion debacle. Interrogating this national disgrace is for another piece. But, something positive did emerge from the “take a bow” 9th Senate of the NASS last week.

Surprisingly this was from the NASS which I had described in an earlier write up as the worst NASS to have emerged in Nigeria ever since the days of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr Nwafor Orizu during the first Republic. The brightest and most progressive of them all was the Dr. Bukola Saraki and Dr Ike Ekweremmadu-led 8th NASS. It weaned and nurtured democracy. It stood its ground fearlessly and demonstrated its independence as one of the three arms of Government and a strong building block of our fledgling and stunted democracy.

However I do not agree with the Senate that the real reason for Ms Lauretta Onochie’s, rejection was anchored on the Federal character Principle requirement, because Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, A serving INEC Commissioner is from Delta State, just like Onochie. I think that was a mere face-saving device and simulated soft landing strategy for the Senate in refusing to square up to the whole truth of the matter.

65 years old Sexagenarian, Lauretta Onochie, born 19th July, 1955, had fervently and publicly denied being politically partisan during the Senate screening. I could not believe my ears. The whole world knows that she had registered as No. 2 in Ward 4, Aniocha North L.G.A. of Delta State, during the recent APC Nation-wide membership registration exercise. More curious about her incredible and incredulous denial stems from the fact that in an affidavit she personally swore to in the case of LAURETTA ONOCHIE VS EMEKA AGWUONYE (as recent as 30th June, 2021), which is currently pending before the FCT High Court, Abuja, she had attached her own passport photograph. In that case, Onochie had deposed affirmatively in paragraph 3 inter alia, thus: “I am also a member of the All Progressive Congress and a Volunteer at the Buhari Support Organisation (B.SO)”.

I could therefore not believe my eyes when I beheld her frontally and publicly denying membership of the APC and an ardent supporter of President Buhari.

Onochie’s nomination as INEC Commissioner representing Delta State (and by extension, the South South) had therefore triggered national outrage and ruckus because of her glaring political partisanship. Constitutional, democratic and moral hurdles were thus cited by a cross section of Nigerians, including politicians, Lawyers (I am one of them), the opposition PDP, public officers, analysts and the Civil Society, as afflicting her desperately sought-for appointment.

Inspite of this, Onochie boldly appeared before the Senate for screening.She strangely and imperiously thumped her chest as “Madam Due Process”.
Really? Not so fast, madam! She then lied before a bewildered Nation, “since Buhari was elected as president for the second term, I have removed myself from everything about politics. Since 2019, I do not have anything to do with politics. As I am sitting here, I am not a member of any political party in this country”. I wept for Nigeria and for decent womanhood beholding a desperate old woman lying between her teeth, just to get a mere INEC appointment. At 65! This is the age most Civil Servants retire to their homes. What is in this INEC seat to force a woman to throw away her dignity and self respect? Onochie LIED.

For starters, her recent registration as No 2 in Ward 4, Aniocha North LGA of Delta State, during the recent registration exercise shows the falsity of her declaration. Secondly, an affidavit she personally deposed to in a case in which she is the plaintiff as lately as 30th June, 2021, also clearly affirmed that she is still a member of the APC and a volunteer at the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO). Wait for the icing on the case: on June 24, 2020 ( well after she claimed to have quitted partisan politics in 2019 ) , she had made an outing by tweet on the social media, promoting the APC, and stating that the party was merely going through the pangs of a growth process. This was during the leadership crisis that engulfed the APC, threatening to consume this party of disparate tendencies. In my humble opinion, this brazen denial of her membership of the APC during her screening demonstrated, more than anything else, her total lack of integrity and moral high grounds in being entrusted with such a sensitive job that borders on midwifing the will of the people. It was impunity taken too far.

Let me be very clear about this. There is nothing wrong about Onochie belonging to the APC, or to any other political party of her choice. There is also nothing wrong with Onochie rolling out the drums to support President Buhari, whether before, during, or after the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections. These are her inalienable constitutional rights. But, she cannot enjoy these rights simultaneously with being an INEC Commissioner. She cannot be a bat who argues that she belongs to the Animal Kingdom, because she possesses mammary glands (breasts), pinnas (ears), and teeth, like those of human beings; but that she is, at the same time, a member of the Birds Kingdom, because she can fly very well. As the name suggests, the Independent National Electoral Commission” is expected to be truly independent. The word “independent” means “liberated”, “unrestrained”, “unconstrained”, “bold”, “individualistic”.

Can 65 year old Onochie, a die-in-the-wool APC fanatic, pick up the Holy Bible (as a Christian) and swear that if she had been cleared by the Senate as INEC Commissioner, she would have been truly unrestrained, unconstrained, bold, individualist, and liberated from the apron strings of Buhari and the APC? I think not, or, do you? Could Onochie have been so independent and liberated from her benefactor ,Buhari, and her political party, in such a way and manner as to take firm decisions in an election against their interest? I think not. Or, do you?

Indeed, Part 1 paragraph F to the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution provides that Resident Electoral Commissioners shall be persons of “unquestionable integrity”. Can Onochie, a member of a political party who is crazily and passionately partisan to her party and her benevolent appointor, the President, be a person of “unquestionable integrity”? I believe not. Or do you? Her mere admission of once belonging to the APC and supporting Buhari, but that she had recanted and renounced them ( even if believable), are the very reasons why she should never come near the corridors of ballot papers and boxes.

The truth of the matter, and I can categorically conjecture why Onochie was rejected, is that she has been one of the most fantatical and consumate supporters; and a vociferous card-bearing member of the APC. She is not just an APC card-carrying member; she has always been the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media Affairs. She loves wearing a long ankle- length t-shirt emblazoned with a larger-than-life portrait of Buhari. She deifies him; canonises him. No problem about this; it is her right.But, please, Onochie, stay far away, far far away, from the hallowed precincts of INEC. Keep Off please !!!

Onochie has always used the social media outlet to attack every and all Nigerians that dare to disagree with her mentor and deity, Buhari. She abuses them all. Freely. She deploys obscene expletives, caustic language, utmost vulgarity and asinine inanities.

Waziri Atiku Abubakar was not spared by Onochie’s putrid vituperations.She accused him of shopping for terrorists in Dubai and being a wanted man. Atiku is in court against Onochie over this. I am his lawyer. Onochie had also attacked me in the social media some years ago, for daring to criticize Buhari, her god. I refused to dignify her with a response, so as not to belittle my humble self. But, she was not so lucky with roaring and cerebral Chief Femi Fani Kayode ( FFK), whom she dared attack. She had touched the tiger by the tail. FFK would not accept that, not let go. He took her to the cleaners and literally tore her to shreds. With bare knuckles; intellectual superiority. I had guffawed.

Therefore, such a palpably partisan person was not fit for, or confirmable for the sacred position of INEC Commissioner. She would have been the biggest liability to this already baggaged Government. She would have further polluted the electoral process, since she is a known unabashed presidential aid and a card-carrying member of the APC, who can never go against her boss or political party in any matter involving elections. She was brutally partisan. She did so without any remorse, sense of guilt or shame whatsoever. Her rejection was therefore good riddance to bad rubbish.

Whether for reason of federal character (section 14 of the Constitution), or for the reason of her well known unabashed partisanship, the important thing is that Onochie was roundly rejected. Like some people would say jocularly , whether it was Jonah that swallowed the fish, or it was the fish that swallowed Jonah, the important thing is that there was a “swallow”.

My kobo piece piece of advice to Lauretta. Madam, quietly stay put in your propaganda corner with your job as Buhari’s social media attack dog. In this, I believe you have done pretty good. I score you well above average. But, for INEC job, farewell! Goodbye!! Adieu!!!

I therefore salute the Senate of the 9th NASS for developing balls for the first time; at least on this singular occasion. Kudos to the Ahmed-Lawan led Senate on Onochie’s rejection as INEC Commissioner.

Contact us on gbaramatuvoice@gmail.com or WhatsApp +2348030891146

NDDC Football Competition Kicks-off in Uyo

By Ebi Perekeme

A five-day football tournament, organized exclusively for staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has commenced at the West Itam Playing Ground, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, GbaramatuVoice reports. 

Speaking shortly before he took the kick-off to signal the beginning of the NDDC MD/CEO Cup competition, the Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, stressed the importance of sports in creating unity and bringing people together for the achievement of set goals.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that the football tournament, which would end on July 23, provided an opportunity for the Commission’s staff to come out in unity to compete among themselves.

He remarked: “We have to take our staff out from their work schedule, because as the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

“We all know the importance of sports all over the world. When Nigeria was at the forefront in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, the country had to miss the Montreal Olympic Games in Canada. This was to put pressure on the South African government to end apartheid.”

The Chairman of NDDC Staff Union, Comrade Anthony Gbendo noted that the competition has been specially planned to ensure that it turns out a success bigger and better than previous competitions.

He explained that various departments, cutting across the nine NDDC states would slug it out against each other in a five-day football contest to determine which team would emerge as the champion.

The union chairman commended the Interim Administrator for his love for sports and physical well-being of NDDC staff.

He said that the objective of the tournament was to create some level of physical training for staff, encourage healthy competition outside the confines of work place and promote unity and peaceful co-existence.

He lauded the NDDC management for sponsoring the competition, stating that it would help staff to keep fit and be alert to attend to their duties.

The preliminary stages of the competition would see 8 teams for males and 8 female teams slugging it out, after which two teams will emerge, before they proceed to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on July 23, for the finals.

Governor Ortom’s performance and public opinion  

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By Jerome-Mario Utomi

The United State Supreme Court is not the highest in our land. Our highest court is the court of public opinion which meets every hour- Seltel (1987)

“I have no fear of constitutional amendments properly adopted, but I do fear the rewriting of the Constitution by judges under the guise of interpretation.” —Hugo L. Black

Democracy taken objectively signifies the right to choose. Public opinion/communication on its part matters in every democratic setting. In fact, there exists this global belief that the viability of democracy depends upon the openness, reliability, appropriateness, and two-way nature of the communication environment.

However, despite these virtues and attributes of public opinion particularly in a democratic dispensation, there exists also a superior/school of thought that counters such claims.

It says; even in a democracy, the government is at liberty to take or discard advice and public opinion in the interest of greater good for the greater number.  Public opinion, in its view, does not always provide clear-cut policy guidance, and even when it is clearly in favour of a certain course of government action, the authorities may decide otherwise-particularly when they realize how uninformed, superficial, and changeable most opinions really are.

Government it added may also reject the people’s opinion as a result of its own convictions, the recommendations of the public service, or the pressure of advocacy groups. Whenever the government fails to follow a clear-cut preference among the public opinion, they may actually be relying on a deeper understanding of the issue, the greater information at their disposal, a more sophisticated analysis of its implications, a concern for minority groups’ rights, or a less prejudicial attitude. it concluded.

Despite the validity of the above declaration, I believed and still believe in the efficacy and validity of public opinion particularly to people in government, for without it, there exist no other way the government will be abreast of what the people are wanting and doing.

However, if there is any exception to the above argument in recent time that deeply demonstrate how uninformed, superficial, and changeable some opinion paddlers could be when exercising this right conferred on them by the instrumentality of democracy and election of leaders, and significantly explains why some opinions from the people needs to be ignored, it is the slanted x-ray/assessment of the performance of Mr. Samuel Ortom, the Executive Governor of Benue state by some commentators and self styled public affairs analysts.

Peripherally, their opinion pieces sighted in online news platforms and opinion pages of conventional newspapers appear so smooth that anybody who read their accounts would think that the picture they painted was real and the trickle down effect was already taking place on the people of the state.

Before getting down to the nitty gritty of their claims, it will be pertinent to look deeply, and classify their analysis/concerns into three parts.
For many in this group, Ortom’s constructive  debate with the government at the centre on how best to lead and build a nation is viewed as unnecessary, messy and divisive; his differing political ideas and strategies are perceived as destructive to the nation’s interest. So, they are of the view that Mr. Governor needs to defocus on his persistent and unabating call on the government at the centre to provide security and adhere to the rule of law.

Others believe that since the interest of Benue is well represented at the centre via appointments of some of its sons/daughter into positions of authority, such appointment/magnanimity signposts Mr. President’s love for the state.

Therefore, by interpretation, what the President deserves from the Government in the state, are namely; praise, respect-and not vilification or disparagement. To the rest, Governor Ortom, should let the Federal Government be; he should concentrate and get preoccupied with issues that have to do with payment of Benue state workers salaries and infrastructural deployment in the state. They predicted their claim on the allegation that workers in the state are owed salaries while the state as a whole suffers infrastructural deficiencies.

At this point, it is of considerable significance to state that this piece is neither out to submit Governor Ortom’s scorecard to the general public, nor to launder the efforts/ image of his administration. But, like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up, the piece is aimed at opening with all its pus-flowing ugliness, the boils of inaccuracies, injustices, asymmetrical information/disinformation, innuendos against the Governor, democracy and good governance, to the natural medicine of truth, justice and the light of human conscience and the air of national and natural opinion.

For one thing, the issues raised- particularly the concern that has to do with nonpayment of workers’ salaries/pension and infrastructural deficiency could have been condemned in strongest terms if they were found to be true because a Latin dictum observes that; “Salus populi suprema lex esto [the welfare of the people shall be the supreme law].” But sadly, this cannot be as the orchestrated allegations have since been uncovered to exist only in frames. In fact, factually supported counter commentaries eminently suggest that the Governor ceaselessly performs his leadership role in this direction at the most fundamental level.

With the above highlighted, let’s focus on other ills that plagued such claims and arguments.
Beginning with inordinate appreciation of infrastructure and political appointment over Governor Ortom’s call for security and rule of law, the question may be asked; which is most essential; security of lives and property or provision of infrastructure and political appointment? Still on the argument about choice of salaries/infrastructure over security, it reveals a mindset with thoughtless understanding of leadership as a mere payment of salaries on the one hand, and ‘cement and concrete arrangement’ on the other hands. Broadly speaking, their deformed logic again elicits the question; when did provision of infrastructure/payment of salaries become a stronger Key Performance indicator (KPI) for measuring leadership success than provision of security of lives and property?
While an answer(s) to the above question is awaited, it will not in any way be characterized as hasty to conclude that these misguided priorities demonstrated by Ortom’s critics, explain why Nigerians presently applaud and vote those who ordinarily, should have nothing to do with governance.

Specifically, Governor Ortom in my views may not be a saint but his type/kind in Nigeria’s leadership corridor is in short supply. Take as an illustration, at the wake of incessant clashes and killings of Benue people by those suspected to be Fulani herders; he enacted the anti open grazing law in the state to tame the situation. Yet the killing spray continued, houses destroyed and burnt down. In the face of these ugly developments, such killers were never apprehended, even when they make self implicating statements about such killings.
Instead of criticism, one would have expected, as responsible and responsive indigenes of the state, these critics of the Governor to dissipate such energy interrogating; why the legislative framework is not providing a strong source of remedy/solution for individuals and communities? And most importantly, why is it not effective and enforceable?

Asking these questions no doubt would have again exposed those who control security architectures in the country as well as underscore the expediency of state police to meet the nation’s security changing needs currently demanded by Ortom and other development-minded Governors and true Federalism proponents. Such a probe would have at the very least revealed who is failing in its responsibility as a leader; whether Federal or state?

Away from security concerns to the claim that appointment of some sons/daughter of Benue origin to positions of authority at the centre signposts love for the state. This argument again is not only laughable but cannot hold water when faced with embarrassing facts. It sadly speaks volume of a people that are ready to offer the security of their people on the altar of political appointments while pointing to why democracy in the country is downgraded to the level that it neither underwrites social justice nor guarantees social mobility.

Let’s look at the particulars of this claim.
Beginning with reality, if the likes of Ortom are to keep quiet from offering their sentiment on a matter such as security which involves the most serious and alarming consequences, it means reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

Regardless of what others may say, there is no way Ortom, a onetime business man and entrepreneur, could not call on Mr. President to rise up to his responsibility of securing the nation, as he (Ortom) understands that the efficiency of the government particularly in the areas of security and economy, does not affect the performance of the public sector alone. Rather, it affects that of the whole country, including the private sector (Business).  When the public sector’s achievements pick up speed, the increased pace extends to the activities.  What ‘investors are more particular about is the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary because unlike security where they can take care of the protection of their staff and assets, they cannot appoint their own Judges to sit on any litigations they are involved in’.
I am not alone in this line of belief.

It was argued elsewhere that if Nigeria is to create the enabling environment for FDIs. Investors are also looking to the independence and strength of the legislative arm of government which acts as a check on the executive branch. The current faint-hearted attitude of the National Assembly whose leaders emerged with the fingerprint of the executive branch written all over the process cannot engender confidence in the investing community.

To therefore catalyze nation building, it is in my views that instead of advocating for  unhealthy truces, ‘technical rationalities/ rationality without morality, or generating spurious arguments on why the Governors should cease commenting on state of the nation, it will be more rewarding if true lovers of this nation remembers that getting the people to believe or committed to a leader at the centre depends largely on the credibility and track-records of such leader, their vision/content of their message, reputation and the consistency between their words and deeds.

Governance they say is not about the   originality of vision but how well the vision serves the interest of the people. It is no longer a secret that the vision of the present administration at the centre has not served the people well.

As the debate rages, well meaning Nigerians are in agreement that separate from being a national leader that is well respected by all, Ortom is among the few public office holders that have played politics in the country using global rules and dictates. He is in the opinion of this piece exposed to the present attack not because there is an established link with non performance, but primarily because, the accusers feel that he occupies a public office and therefore, lacks the right to private living.

Utomi, is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He could be reached via jeromeutomi@yahoo.com   

NASARAWA GOVERNOR ON PIB: I care less about whether host community allocation is 3% or 5%

By Daniel Kokoricha

The Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, has faulted the debate over the Petroleum Industry Bill allocation for oil-producing states.

Governor Sule who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics, said beyond figures or percentages, what matters more is the wellbeing of the states involved.

“You have to look at the totality of what goes to the communities,” he said.

“Is it just the three per cent that is going to them. People have forgotten about the 13% derivation that goes to the states. So even if you give the three per cent or five per cent is it changing the communities or is it going to some private pockets,” he asked.

Speaking further, Governor Sule said: “really, I care less about whether it is three per cent or five per cent. The most important thing is, let us go and take a look at what is happening in the Niger Delta. Even if we give them five per cent, is that the end of the crisis there? It is deeper than that.”

The host community allocation was a subject of heated debate last week as both chambers of the National Assembly struggled to decide between three and five per cent.

The allocation was one of the clauses left in consideration after the National Assembly had passed the PIB earlier this month.

If cleared, it is expected to transform the nation’s oil industry.

The three per cent is different from the 13% derivation fund which is paid to oil-producing communities from the federation account.

Instead, the three percent allocation will come from an entity’s actual yearly operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.

All contributions will be deposited in a trust fund for host communities.

According to a draft of the PIB, the trust fund will enhance peace and cordial relationship between oil companies and host communities.

While the Senate on Thursday adopted the three per cent allocation despite protests by southern lawmakers, the House of Representatives, on the other hand, stepped down the controversial Bill after an hour-long closed-door session.

CHIEF EDWIN CLARK ON PIB: Despite not producing crude oil, North enjoys largest share of Nigeria’s oil revenue

Chief Edwin Clark, Ijaw national leader, has alleged that only members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) benefit from crude oil revenue.

Speaking with BBC Pidgin on Friday, Clark alleged that the north does not produce crude oil but enjoys the largest share of Nigeria’s oil revenue.

He said the south-south has been neglected and made poor despite being the major producer of crude oil in the country.

The Ijaw leader expressed his support for southern governors who had kicked against the allocation of 3 percent operating expenditure of oil firms to host communities, and rejected the proposed 30 percent of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.

Clark had described the provision and allocation of 30 percent of profits in the bill for further frontier oil exploration in the north as “satanic and unjust”.

“I support their decision. Even when they wanted five percent, I disagreed with them. We want 10 percent. We want to be part of the oil industry. The northerners have all the oil blocks; they don’t produce any oil,” he said.

“For instance, in 2005, when we had the same problem at the political conference held in Abuja, this same issue came up. We produced a paper at that conference and one of it was to show who are the people benefitting from the oil without contributing a kobo to the economy by the form of oil producer.

“We discovered that north-central takes about N48 billion yearly without contributing anything to the federation account apart from what is produced. We are talking about oil and gas. North-west took about N49 billion; north-east, N45 billion; south-west took about N49 billion. They contribute like less than four percent in Ondo. Then the south-east, between Igbo and Abia, contributed like 2.5 percent at that time and got about N25 billion naira.

“Where are the south-south? We got N140 billion and how much did we contribute? More than 91.5 percent to the coffers, yet, today we are the poorest. Have you ever seen where wealth is produced in your backyard and you are the poorest?

“We are the most neglected. Those who benefit from the oil come from other areas. The oil passes through my backyard, but if I want to benefit from it, I go to meet President Muhammadu Buhari ‘can I benefit from this oil?’ He will say ‘yes, provided you are an APC member’.”

An x-ray of the PIB and Ekanpou’s play: The Plot Against the People

By Asiayei Enaibo

The Plot Against the People, a play written by Ekanpou Enewaridideke, published in the year 2005, characteristically depicts the modern happenings in the Nigerian situation from the Federal, state, local and to the community level.This is characteristically more at the community level.The Plot Against the People is more conspicuous at the community level which later metamorphoses into the political climate of the country. Ethnicity, nepotism and conspiracy against brothers, deprivation and wealth control can be seen in the play. This is a must read play as it depicts the contemporary events in our society. Yes, writers are prophets that foretell the future.

The play is paradoxically written to tell the Niger Delta true picture of the conflict of denial as the thematic thrust builds around the play.The plot is to suffocate the progressive mind for defending and protecting their own resources.

PENARU:
Today marks the second conference we have are holding since my reign as the President of Taneria.
Structures must be erected to enslave the minorities.
We are gathered here to perfect this…

(Part two page 84)

This is exactly the second tenure of the current administration the plot against the people has come to play as depicted by the author.

Certainly the victory to come out triumphantly no matter the plot against those whose minds are genuine to create changes that will make our society a balanced place of the uncertainties of leadership failures and the underdevelopment and self-centered leadership, bigotry antagonistic mind set of people against the rising Stars is symbolically presented to direct the society for all inclusiveness and expressions of love than bottled up hatred against the people. This play is a direct porttait of our contemporary twist of the oil industry in the Niger Delta Region, political and communal twist against certain individuals they consider as a threat to their heinous activities.

Adakan: We have crude oil, we feed the whole country. We are the backbone of Taneria.

We are poverty-stricken.
Our areas appellated, difficult terrain, are not developed.

We have nothing to show for our crude oil wealth.
Our wealth is siphoned off to arid lands for development purpose.
We are left with nothing.
We are unemployed.
We are stymied by many
Debilitating Decrees, Acts and laws systematically made to weaken and enslave us…

(Part Two. Page 93)

Imprisonment of our voices, yes, the activist was arrested, as Mamkere thus,

Mamkere “When a tide goes out it will definitely come in.
We know why we are gathered here today.
In our new philosophy, we have vowed to give no breathing space to those who are bent on making our lives worthless…

(Part three. Page 97)

The obnoxious laws will only create more tensions in the region. Yes,the legislative walkout in the National Assembly has been predicted by the Playwright Ekanpou Enewaridideke in the year 2005 before the outcome PIB of today.

What makes the play more interesting is that at the end all the discordant voices that were part of the conspiracy, were resolved and overpowered by the people as a federal might and as an organised plot. Yes, those who plot without finding solutions, such will always see the danger of more revolutionaries to the unresolved problems for tomorrow.

The play is embellished figuratively in a country called Taneria, an oil rich country but there is nothing to show for the region that makes the country to flourish but Ironically, poverty, deprivation, subjugation and mental enslavement engulfed the people. These and many more made the youth leader confront them. Adakan the president of Odi Youth Movement labours to change the narrative…. This is a story told in a literary perspective that clearly depicts the Niger Delta situation of the oil rich region suffocated by poverty and underdevelopment.

The story depicted here is a replica of the PIB plot against the Niger Delta region from those at the helm of affairs to suffocate the people to do their dictate. These plots are everywhere in our communities where few leaders sit down with their premeditated decisions to undermine the young stars in their decisions, thereby creating conflicts where there is no conflict.

The playwright is a real representation of the reflection of a new literary Theorist in the scope of what is referred as Niger Delta Literature. Ekanpou Enewaridideke’s play is a clear dramatisation of the PIB plot and leadership failures of the new system of governance.

The leading character Adakan represents the protesting voice of the Niger Delta people in the recent PIB while the President Penaru of Taneria and his cabinet rejoice for overpowering Adakan the leader by signing the PIB into law as victory on there own side.

The play is an embodiment of the intellectual prowess of the author who tells the conflict of Odi bombardment saga by the Federal government. The play portrays the past and present situation and what is likely to happen in the future.

This play, THE PLOT AGAINST THE PEOPLE, is a play everybody must read to be updated on waiting plots engineered by people against people in the struggle for imaginary powers at the federal, state and community levels. Could this play be a coincidental portrait of the plot against the author as his recent posts point to?

Let this life be plot-free so that Ekanpou Enewaridideke will not be forced to write another The plot against the People.

CULLED FROM EKANPOU ENEWARIDIDEKE’S PLAY, THE PLOT AGAINST THE PEOPLE.

As ‘The Eagles’ Gather In Lagos to Celebrate GbaramatuVoice At 6

By Jerome-Mario Utomi

Recently, I read with excitement, a statement  by management of Gbaramatu Publishing Company Limited, owners of GbaramatuVoice Newspaper, announcing the planned programmes for its forthcoming 6th Annual lectures/Niger Delta Awards event slated for Tuesday August 10, 2021, by 10:00am, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

The statement which was personally signed by Jacob Abai, the GbaramatuVoice publisher among other remarks  noted that the anniversary celebration/lecture will have as central theme: Dwindling State of Crude Oil Demand in the Global Market: The Way Forward, and will have His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria deliver a keynote address, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, as Special Guest Of Honour,  the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, as host , the Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sawoolu, as Chief Host, Mr Samuel Ortom, the Executive Governor of Benue State, nominated as Best Governor of the Year (Defense of Democracy), while Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, The Executive Governor of Delta state, will Chair the occasion.

Essentially, aside from the high caliber of people expected at this event-the third in the series coming after Abuja and Port Harcourt, making this particular occasion alluring in my views is the new awareness that the Newspaper will use the opportunity provided by its 6th Anniversary celebration to launch a Resource Centre for Niger Delta Studies as well as a media institute where fresh graduates from the region interested in media practice shall be trained on different media skills for self reliance.

The Newspaper is presently in the estimation of stakeholders likened to the Biblical grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches. (Mathew 13; 31-32, Mark 4; 30-32, Luke 13; 18-19).

To buttress this fact, the Newspaper was established in 2015, in one small apartment located in a sleepy but egalitarian part of Effurun, Warri,  Delta state, and against all odds hit the newsstands in August of the same year. But today, has become to the admiration of all, a leading source of authentic/authoritative information about the coastal/Niger Delta region and vehicle for promoting good governance and rewarding excellence /proponents of democracy/good governance in Nigeria.

As the Newspaper celebrates, another area of interest to focus on is the personality behind GbaramatuVoice Newspaper-in the person of Jacob Abai, the man I usually call the Publisher.  I know him. We met as students at the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lekki, Lagos. He has always declared to me and others who care to listen that leaders who scale in the media industry did so regardless of background, skill and talent but because they were open to learning, took deliberate steps to confront their shortcomings and modeled their vision to that of great leaders that did not flounder in the industry. This philosophy he explained informs his choice of Uncle Sam Amuka, the founder of the Vanguard Newspaper Limited, Mr. Mike Ibru of the Guardian Newspapers among others as his role models.

Without any shadow of the doubt, there exists no record pointing to the fact that Abai attended elite academic institutions such as Harvard or Oxford University. Yet, he has within record time become the leader that his organization and of course the media industry want him to be. In my views, what has really worked is his time-honored believe that in business setting one must be able to not only generate ideas but translate those ideas into results.

As Abai celebrates, it is my views that two factors have so far worked for him in his media excellence agenda. First, one happened on highly professionally trained journalists who understand, and are dedicated to the Niger Delta course while collaborating national and international media organizations across. This strategy helped GbaramatuVoice become a gateway to Niger Delta-related news that is factually supported. The second is his understanding that ‘sound strategy is more basic to a young company than resolving hiring issues, designing control systems, setting reporting relationships, or defining the founder’s role’. That ventures based on a good strategy can survive confusion and poor leadership, but sophisticated control systems and organizational structures cannot compensate for an unsound strategy.

This understanding assisted GbaramatuVoice to focus on issues, not personalities. It has also resulted in its capacity to carve a niche for itself in record time and earnestly given the newspaper a quantum leap.

As an illustration, within this period, the newspaper has against permutation diversified to online news publishing, Face of Gbaramatu beauty pageant, and recently ventured into full-time electronic broadcasting with the establishment of the GbaramatuVoice Television that can be sourced online.

These successes have earned the newspaper, The Niger Delta Newspaper of the Year 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 awards.

Broadly speaking, there exist another reason, just one more but fundamental reason why the GbaramatuVoice 6th anniversary is considered as a celebration for all Niger Deltans and supported by the government-local, state (south south governors), the federal and of course the corporate bodies operating in the Niger Delta region particularly the International Oil Companies (IOCs). Such a reason has to do with the restoration/existence of  peace in the region.

We must recall that the region was formerly characterized by perennial violence occasioned by mutual suspicion and hostilities between the IOCs and the Federal Government on one side and host communities on the other side. Such narrative and state of affairs has since been thrown to the waste bin of history with the advent of Gbaramatu Voice and its team of journalists that spend more time on the high seas and creeks than on the land. The GbaramatuVoice has become reputed for bringing to the surface the hidden injustices and tensions that is always alive and active in the region to where it can be seen and treated.

This point becomes particularly appreciated when one remembers that before now reports from the region were always slanted by some media groups in such a way that are ‘valid, but, prevents others from deciding for themselves whether the claim to validity is correct-by not including the data that others could use to decide for themselves whether the illustration was valid; And, by placing their conclusion in such that disguises their logical implications’.

At this point, an important distinction to make is that GbaramatuVoice has become not just another platform for disseminating the truth and information that can be controlled at will. Rather, it is a platform for pursuing the truth, and the decentralized creation and distribution of ideas; in the same way, that government is a decentralized body for the promotion and protection of the people’s life chances. It is a platform, in other words, for development that the government must partner with.

Finally, even as I congratulate him for this great feat, and join him in welcoming to the occasion dignitaries which include but not limited to, namely; Traditional Rulers from the Niger Delta, captain of industries within and outside the country, executives of International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country, public office holders from the Niger Delta region, leaders of specialized groups in Nigeria, among others, the question,  as a media practitioner who understands the shaky nature of the industry, that still pops in my mind is ; where Abai, got this well formulated strategy/tactics for building a sustainable media organization in Nigeria?

Utomi is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He could be reached via jeromeutomi@yahoo.com/08032725374

Ijaw gospel singer releases highly anticipated new single ‘ADUNBA’

By Ebi Perekeme

Ijaw gospel singer, Godbless Motiola popularly known as Pastor Godbless, has released a new single titled ‘Adunba’.

The Ijaw gospel superstar, took to his facebook page to announce this and achievement he started the second half of the year with.

Pastor Godbless

According to him, the song is to help Christians all over the world recognise Jesus as the solution to today’s hurting world.

Born June 4th 1994 in Warri, Nigeria, Motiola has spent about 5 years in the ministry and has carved a niche for himself as a true and annointed worshiper.

Download and Stream Melody on AUDIOMACK https://audiomack.com/alahjitam/song/14363573

Chief EK Clark: Chronicling the Advent of Great Uniben

Title: The Founding Of The University Of Benin 
Author: Chief Dr. Ek Clark, OFR
Reviewer: Wilson Macaulay 
Publisher: Eml Publishers 
No Of Pages: 360 

On the 25th of May, 2021, National leader, Chief Dr E K Clark celebrated his 94 years birthday. In honour of his contributions to our nation’s building effort, he churns out a book titled, The Founding of Them University of Benin.

This book is essentially the catalogue of events that led to the founding of the University of Benin. In so doing, the author quoted many witnesses concerning the various events that led to the founding and establishment of the great institution.

As it was, Nigeria was operating a regional system of government which chafed the minorities under the yoke of regionalism as they suffer a lot of setback and hardship. As the author pointed out in page 2, the minority tribes were very much under the political, economic and social yoke of the majority. The Mid-Westerners, driven by this strong desire for emancipation, rooted for the creation of a region.

However, the creation of the region also threw up a new challenge amongst which was the educational need of a University.

The Founding Of The University Of Benin presents the clinical details of the conception and birth of the Great Uniben when the author, Chief EK Clark, was the Commissioner for Education of the Mid-West Region.

Brigadier(Dr)Samuel Ogbemudia noted in the foreword at page six (VI): “there has been claims and counterclaims from various quarters by people who actually had little or nothing to do with the conception of the ideas and the eventual founding of the University of Benin.”

It, therefore, gladdens my heart that Chief (Dr.) E.K. Clark has painstakingly put paid to these controversies by putting his work together to set the records straight for now, and for posterity through this work.

The author was essentially inspired to write this book due to the prevailing circumstances and the mood of the public concerning their perceptions, response as to how the University of Benin the great citadel of learning came into being.

About 25 years after, the author found it necessary to put to rest all issues surrounding the establishment of the school which were a bit hazy.

The book was published to remove every strain or cloud of misinformation surrounding the foundation of the great University of Benin.

As major key players in Mid-West attested, the book proclaimed the fundamentalities and also corrected the wrong public view about the origin of the University.

A quote from Brigadier General (Dr.) Ogbemudia, the then Governor about the authenticity of Clark information put the perspective straight, as a lot of persons really wanted to take undue credit and the general public was also misled to give undue recognition to some persons before Clark came up with the book that put paid to avoidance of any doubt.

In page 107, without any exaggeration, the author said: “The writing of the founding of the University of Benin was an opportunity to look back into an old world and how tortures the journey has been.”

The University of Benin was built in a period of quest for University Education.

A close examination will reveal to any reader that the book seeks to set straight distorted records of how three major characters fought to achieve one purpose – the Great Uniben.
The book also contains speeches and statements made by other people who participated actively in the affairs of the institute in the early years, in order to corroborate the author’s story.

The main theme of the book is centered on the narratives of the highlights of what took place, from the conception to the successful birth of the University.

The book is the story of the strings that were pulled and drawn to make sure that the ambition of the founding of a credible University for Mid-West was not scuttled on the altar of excuse of the young age of the region.

The book, in my modest view, is the product of an endless hard work of labour, day and night, with unwavering hope to succeed in laying the academic foundation of the Mid-West Region under the watch of the author Chief (Dr.) E.K. Clark as the super Commissioner of Education.

Clearly, Uniben is an academic balm that healed the wound of the Midwestern people.

A PIB-Centered Telephone Conversation with Comrade Joseph Evah

By Jerome-Mario Utomi

To help douse the swift and conflicting reactions, utter confusion and frustration raging in the minds of the Niger Deltans and other stakeholders, occasioned by the inexplicable and unexpected provisions of the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), I sought a telephone conversation with Comrade Joseph Angodeme Evah, Coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group. That was a few days ago.

Essentially, on that day, at that time and in that place, I listened to him with rapt attention as his frankness made it very easy for me to be at ease in his presence. After ‘watching’ him use analysis and well crafted arguments to demonstrate among other concerns how the Federal Government is creating tension in the Niger delta that no human being can control, I concluded that what made the ‘meeting’ crucial was not its focus on the Petroleum Industry Bill, but how well the new awareness will serve the interest of the nation.

Beginning with the 3% allocation to the community, he said; well, as you can see, every normal human being from the Niger delta is against the 3% or 5%. They are in support of the community’s demand of 10%. Yes.  Although, like the Bible says; no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house Mark 3:27. Those who want to frustrate us or make nonsense of our heritage are now sponsoring some of our children who are betrayers to work against our common objective.

We are telling the Federal Government that they are creating tension in the Niger delta that no human being can control. This is the time the Government is talking about Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB. This is the time that the Government is worried about Sunday Igboho of the Yoruba nation. All these agitations are because of injustice. Instead of the Buhari government to do something to build our unity, he is by his actions encouraging the separatist movement. If it is at this time that this kind of bill is coming up, it means the government is also encouraging separatist movement in the Niger Delta

Providing direction to this conversation, I asked; how would you evaluate the role played by the representatives from the south-south region?

And just immediately, he gave this tragic-comic reply; we said they should come and give us a report of what happened, we are waiting for them. We have called their Telephone lines; and all their phones are not working. Yes! All their Telephone lines are not working; I have called some of them and their phones are not working.  Some of them at the National assembly are my cousins. Their Telephones are not working. They are all betrayers and they are hiding. They have put their names as Judas. They are the Judases of Niger Delta. We cannot fold our hands for something that in the next ten years will backfire on us.

In the next ten years from now, anybody can become Nigerian president and do whatever they like, because they believe that the Niger Deltans are the only people that send betrayers to the national assembly. We will not encourage that.

We expected them to walk out of the National Assembly. Other regions have in the past walked out of the national assembly. And there was reconciliation because those people walked out of the national assembly.  What have they been sitting down like Mumu at that place for? What are they benefitting? So we are angry. They are Mumu. People from other tribes see them as betrayers of their region. In Abuja, they are shameless people moving about.

On 13%derivation, he captures it this way; we are not saying 100% as our expectation but because we are human beings, we will continue to talk to our leaders, let this thing be workable.

In 1999, I made a submission to Chief Olusejun Obsanjo, the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I remember telling him that the 13%derivation should be changed, and should not be given to the Governor because the governors see the 13% as a Christmas party.

Instead, he added, let us apply what Babangida did. Babangida used trade by barter to build Abuja. He started the 13% with Julius Berger because Julius Berger could not be corrupted. Julius Berger built the Aso rock; Julius Berger built 90% of all the facilities. It was Julius Berger that changed Abuja to London.  So, if he gives part of that 13% to Julius Berger Construction Company, you will see that Niger Delta will change to London.

To help make the conversation more rewarding, I (the author) asked this solution-oriented question; how will the region remedy the situation bearing in mind  that Mr. President is yet to sign the bill into law?

Let’s again listen to Comrade Evah; that is why we are appealing to the president to do the needful so as not to encourage separatist movement in the Niger Delta. He should send the bill back to the National Assembly for them to revisit it again. Even the Supreme Court reverses itself when the need arises. So why can’t the National Assembly? That is our advice for him

Yet again, the author fired; what do you think is the holistic approach to Niger Delta challenge?

Hear him; the holistic approach to Niger delta challenge strictly depends on those who are ruling the country. It depends on their ability to assemble the nation’s first eleven for the purpose of development, as used after the civil war. It means selecting people who are focused and impeccable. Politics has bastardized everything. No investments for our children, nothing, the universities are not working.   How come Buhari who has been a former military Governor, former Minister and former head of state cannot assemble people who are credible, people who are productive? All we have witnessed is everyday borrowing? What kind of government is that? When they promised change, we never knew that it was borrowing change.

At this point, the author urged that the conversation move from expression of grief to finding a solution. Can’t our electoral system address the present leadership challenge in the country particularly, the issue of first eleven as mentioned above? ,

He responded thus; yes, elections can but our electoral process cannot be trusted.  If we want to deal with, and correct this situation, we must learn to spend less money on elections. Through that process, you will see the beauty of democracy. The best candidates will emerge.  But will they allow it? It will not be allowed. We have some members of the national Assembly that go there to sleep. Some of them have been part of the national Assembly right from the government of Shehu Shagari. We have to confront these people. That is why we are confronting them.

He continues; I hope that all what we are saying on television and newspaper Mr. President sees them, unless the press secretaries will be hiding television from him because that is what some press secretaries do. Instead of the president watching news channels, press secretaries will tune to cartoon networks. Instead of them showing him newspapers on national matters, they show him any magazine that contains cartoon networks. Those who are guarding the president give the president a fake opinion.  They are blocking people from coming to tell the truth to his ears. That is the problem. All the press secretaries around the president need to repent. Give him newspapers on national matters to look at the opinion of the people. It will help the president to manage Nigeria.

The above scenario notwithstanding, Comrade Evah noted that leaders from the Niger Delta, particularly members of PANDEF have made a lot of moves. They are still making moves and the Ijaw National Congress leaders too; they are still making moves to visit the Aso rock to talk to the president. The problem is that, will the president be fair enough to do that?

On his thoughts about how the Amnesty programme can bear the targeted result, watch out for part two of this piece.

Utomi is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He could be reached via jeromeutomi@yahoo.com/08032725374

Church of Nigeria presents Blessing Enyindah as Archbishop of Niger Delta Province

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has formally presented Bishop of Ikwerre, Rivers State, The Most Rev. (Dr.) Blessing Enyindah, who was duly elected to succeed the Most Rev. Tunde Adeleye as the Archbishop of Niger Delta Province.

Enyindah, whose election held recently at Bethany Chapel, Faith Plaza, Bariga, Lagos was certificated for the office by Primate of the Church of Nigeria, The Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Asaba, Delta State, last Sunday, at a Consecration Service, where two other Bishops-elect, The Ven. Victor Ebipade Okporu and The Ven. Nneoyi Onen Egbe, were also consecrated as Bishops of the Dioceses of Western Izon, Delta State and Calabar, Cross Rivers State.

Enyindah is the third Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Niger Delta, consisting the Anglican Dioceses in Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states. He is also the Vice Chairman of the ACNN TV Board of Governors and Registrar of the Church of Nigeria’s Senior Clergy Advanced Management School.

Preaching at the service, the Bishop of Ilesa and Director of the Church of Nigeria Senior Clergy Management School, the Rt. Rev. Dr Samuel Sowale, urged the clergy to flee from evil and pursue godliness. He said the beauty of Bishop’s ministry lies in its collegiality. He encouraged them to work together with other Bishops in guarding the faith, protecting the unity and discipline of the church and being source of strength and inspiration to the people.

Delta State Governor, Sir Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and his wife, Dame Evangelist Edith Okowa was among the dignitaries that attended the event. The governor, who also read the Old Testament Lesson, charged men of God to always resist the temptation of resorting to enticing words of man’s wisdom in a vain attempt to make the gospel appealing and acceptable to the secular mind, saying, “happenings in the contemporary world and church are a fulfilment of Paul’s prophecy that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

He called on clerics to be diligent, while presenting themselves as approved to God, rightly preaching the truth.

“Every God-ordained preacher of the gospel is not at liberty to exchange God’s truth for his opinions, traditions or philosophies of men. The Word of God is supposed to change us, not men changing the word to suit their circumstances,” he said.

The Head of Anglican Communion, Ndukuba, while commending Okowa for his godliness, commitment to the church and his outstanding accomplishments in the governance of Delta, said: “When the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoice. We are proud of you because you are, indeed, the people’s governor and a true servant of God.”

The host Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Justus Mogekwu, also commended Okowa for his continued support to the church, including hosting the Consecration/Presentation Service. Mogekwu also appreciated Ndukuba, who was elected Primate at the Asaba Cathedral, for the privilege of hosting the service before eventually bowing out from active service as Bishop of the Diocese.

Delta Online Publishers knocks National Assembly on obnoxious NBC, NPC Amendment Bills

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By Ebi Perekeme 

The Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF) has called on the National Assembly to quash the obnoxious NBC, NPC Amendment Bills.

Speaking through its secretary – Shedrack Onitsha, on the 14th of July, 2021, the group said: “The importance of free and unshackled media has been universally acclaimed as the bastion of freedom of expression and human rights in the strengthening of democracy. The point has also been made that this freedom is neither the prerogative of the politician nor the privilege of the journalist. Yet in the exercise of performing their daily work of gathering and transmitting news, journalists are merely exercising every citizen’s right to free speech.

“While the Delta Online Publishers’ Forum (DOPF) appreciate and thank the House of Representative for the step taken so far in withdrawing the vexatious media bill, for further consultation following the outcry that greeted the bill from the media community and civil society groups, we want to appeal to their conscience that they should channel their energy to more productive ventures.

“It is against this background that the DOPF views the proposed amendments to the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Acts that was before the National Assembly as obnoxious instruments by power mongers of Nigeria’s political elites to badger and shackle the press and undermine the people’s right to speak and make their opinions known on issues.

“We demand therefore that the so-called amendments should be jettisoned by the National Assembly as the offensive sections are diabolical to the growth and sustenance of our hard-fought and won democracy which is currently under assault by anti-democratic forces with eyes on leading the nation into totalitarianism. Our demand is hinged on the obvious fact that the amendments seek to arrogate all media powers and control to the Minister of Information and pseudo-agencies of the Federal Government.

“Accordingly, we reject the disguised evil intent of the proponents of the amendment bill and their sponsors who are hiding in the background to nullify media independence by making the media subject to the control of the whim and caprice of presidential control. The evil intent of the proponents of the despicable bill is its deadly pretence not to acknowledge the importance of press freedom as the foundation of many other human rights covering freedom of speech, freedom of the press, which gives individuals and communities the right to articulate their opinions without fear of retaliation, censorship or punishment.

“It pretends not to know that a free press helps to inform the people in print, online, or on TV or radio, thus underscoring the point that knowledge is power. It also pretends not to know that it is through a free exchange of information that people can be fully aware of what’s going on around them, and so can meaningfully participate in their communities or democracies.

“Therefore, in rejecting the obnoxious amendments we call attention to the fact that local and national reporters, bloggers and news outlets keep people informed about what is happening in the world around them, and that freedom of expression allows people to access information about current events and matters of public interest – whether that’s from large media companies, local newspapers, or each other through citizen journalism and social media.

“Therefore, we call on the National Assembly members to stand up and protect media independence by jettisoning the clauses that seek to criminalise functions of the journalist and undermine Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Nigeria is a signatory.

“We demand that the media sector regulation must not be subjected to the influence and control of politicians working for the government of the day. Thus, the proposed amendment must be discarded and thrown overboard because it is to undermine the people’s inalienable right to drive home a legitimate point of view, and so express their feelings against injustice and unfair treatment. It is a sinister move to criminalise the people’s right to free speech.

“We call on members of the National Assembly to recognize the place of the media as the Fourth Estate of the Realm in a democracy and honour it. They must see the proponents of the very offensive bill as an unpleasant bill for who they are: Anti-people, ” he concluded.

Delta Traditional Council Chair, Obi of Owa eulogises GbaramatuVoice, Tompolo

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By Daniel Kokoricha

The Obi of Owa Kingdom, Obi (Dr.) Emmanuel Oyinke Efeizomor II, in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State, has eulogised GbaramatuVoice Newspaper, ahead of its 6th Anniversary Lecture/Niger Delta Awards event coming up on Tuesday, August 10th, at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

King Efeizomor II, who is also the Chairman of Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers asserted this during the GbaramatuVoice team led by its Publisher/CEO, Jacob Abai, paid him a courtesy cum sensitisation visit in relation to the Anniversary programme and official presentation of letter of award on Thursday, July 15 at his Palace in Owa-Oyibu.

He said: “Ladies and gentlemen it is my honor and privilege to receive the powerful delegation from this highly organized forum the GbaramatuVoice, voice of the people.

“The king himself (Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom) is a gentleman of great respect since he visited here (Owa) couple of years now. We have spoken in the line of peace building, economic progression and that remains the promise of our association.

“I see a large number of ladies and gentlemen in the press world. That is very encouraging because I too being a veteran journalist I know what it takes to run a newspaper/magazine.

“Any act of writing is in the placement of thought. For people to be involved in the act of writing it involves record keeping. Naturally it’s a sense of direction.

“The journey of journalism involves entertainment, education, and publicity. These are critical aspect of human generally. I’d like to welcome you people and encourage you to work hard.

“Your job may not be recognized too early/easily for now, particularly when we are in an environment where everyone is looking for money, but when you get involved in reading and writing, you are creating knowledge bank, made from time to time you can fall back to it. You lift information instrument that can lead to a greater tomorrow.

“I welcome this development. People who are conscious of what is involved in the preservation of culture, preservation of knowledge and promotion of knowledge. It shows that they are people who are conscious of what it takes to avoid crime, because as soon as it goes into record it continues to be managed and it produces itself. So it creates a level of consciousness.

“I thank you to be involved in this exercise and I pray that God will continue to give you the wherewithal.”

“Any act of writing is in the placement of thought. For people to be involved in the act of writing it involves record keeping. Naturally it’s a sense of direction.

“The journey of journalism involves entertainment, education, and publicity. These are critical aspect of human general hood. I’d like to welcome you people and encourage you to work hard.

The Monarch who promised to do justice to the content of GbaramatuVoice letter and invitation, noted that Tompolo has gone to the world of tactical revolution, to improve a lot of others who represent those who cannot represent themselves.

“I will not forget to appreciate Tompolo. I will not fail to appreciate his person. If everybody is involved in the process of saving ones head alone the system will suffer.

“Here is a young man, he has brought enough economic strength to make himself comfortable, but he has gone into the world of tactical revolution, this tactical revolution is to improve a lot of others who represent those who cannot represent themselves.

“To speak when others have decided to keep mute and to take necessary punishment and the pains of others. People like that are not easy to come by, because you just find people who want to be happy, who want to dress all out to the gallery, who want to be everywhere enjoying the good things of life. Plus such persons are somewhere serving as watchdog for the masses.

“So I appreciate Tompolo’s effort and I pray that God will reward him at the appropriate time.

“Those of you (GbaramatuVoice) who are the forerunners of truth, justice, people’s welfare, I also pray that God will meet you at your point of need. Thank you very much for coming.” He added.

GbaramatuVoice 6th Anniversary Lecture/Niger Delta Awards event will be held under the theme: “Dwindling state of crude oil demand in the global market: The Way forward.”

The former president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, who officially unveils the branded t-shirts and caps for the event during a courtesy visit, will deliver a keynote address and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, will be the Special Guest of Honour.

However, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State will function as Chairman of the Occasion; Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State, the host; while  Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, will be the Chief Host.

The Publisher of GbaramatuVoice, Jacob Abai presenting official letter of invitation/award to the Obi of Owa Kingdom/Chairman, Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II, with his son and SA to the Governor of Delta State on Media, Prince Victor Efeizomor
The Publisher of GbaramatuVoice, Jacob Abai, presenting a copy of GbaramatuVoice latest edition to the Obi of Owa Kingdom.
The GbaramatuVoice team in a group photograph with the Obi of Owa Kingdom; Chief Okwuokenye C. W JP, Inneh of Owa Kingdom; Prince Victor Efeizomor and Princess Helen Efeizomor Ani.
The Publisher of GbaramatuVoice, Jacob Abai, presenting an official branded Tshirt & Caps to Prince Victor Efeizomor.
His Royal Majesty, Obi (Dr.) Emmanuel Efeizomor II, the Obi of Owa Kingdom.
The Obi of Owa Kingdom, his son, Prince Victor Efeizomor with the Publisher of GbaramatuVoice, Jacob Abai.

Contact us on gbaramatuvoice@gmail.com or WhatsApp +2348143459986

NGO holds enlightenment programme for students in Delta 

By Ruth Oromoni & Success Yanki

The Ernest Bebenimibo Foundation, EBF, in conjunction with the world Mission Foundation, WMF, in special conclusive status with the United Nations has held an enlightenment programme for students.

The event which was a one day mentoring of the girl child was tagged, “My Voice, My Future” and was held at the Kokodiagbene Secondary School in Kokodiagbene, Warri South West LGA of Delta State on Wednesday, 14th July, 2021.

Speaking on the topic, “Sex Education and Skills Acquisition Programmes, ” one of the speakers – Mrs Rose Obi, taught the female students some helpful skills while Mrs Joy Bekewei (Entrepreneurship Specialist) spoke to them on career choices and proper hygiene during menstruation.

In her own session, Dr. Mrs. Onyi Ikemefuna taught them good sitting postures, good walking postures, infections and their impact as well as abstinence from sex before marriage. She also expressed delight for getting the opportunity to speak to the female students and went on to teach them personal hygiene such as washing of hands and its benefits.

The boys were not left out as they were taught by Mr. Ernest Bebenimibo, Founder of EBF and Mr. Ogaga Darlington, Director, EBF, on how to become great men and how to practice good hygiene.

One of the high points of the event was when sanitary pads and stationeries were presented to the students, an act that was applauded by the school principal – Mrs. Adeghoro Bridget, and the head girl in their vote of thanks.

[PHOTOS] GbaramatuVoice 6th Annual Lecture receives royal endorsement from Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom

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By Daniel Kokoricha 

The Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Monday Obukohwo Whiskey, Udurhie I, has giving his blessings to the GbaramatuVoice 6th anniversary event, which holds on Tuesday 10th August, 2021 at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The GbaramatuVoice team ably led by the Publisher, Jacob Abai was warmly received by His Royal Majesty and his Council of Chiefs at his palace in Otorho-Idjerhe (Jesse town), Headquarters of Idjerhe Kingdom in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.

Members of the Idjerhe Kingdom Traditional Council at the palace included High Chief William Atiti, the Unugbrogodo of Onyobru; High Chief Agbamitotor Sago, the Unugbrogodo of Idjerhe Central; High Chief Olishe Godwin, Unugbrogodo of Boboroku; High Chief Samuel Okoro, the Umievworo of Onyobru; High Chief John Edafeburu, the Umievworo of Boboroku.

Others are High Chief Ejenavi Isaac; High Chief Stephen Ikewun; High Chief Oji Amagiya; High Chief S. Abonoko; High Chief Wilson Ojaraife; High Chief Onokaye Ajaino and High Chief Matthew Abobo.

See photos below…

The Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Monday Obukohwo Whiskey, Udurhie I.
The Publisher of GbaramatuVoice, Jacob Abai presenting official letter to the Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Monday Obukohwo Whiskey, Udurhie I.
The Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Monday Obukohwo Whiskey, Udurhie I and his Council of Chiefs with the Publisher of GbaramatuVoice, Jacob Abai.
The Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Monday Obukohwo Whiskey, Udurhie I, seated majestically on the throne.
The Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Monday Obukohwo Whiskey, Udurhie I. 
The Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Monday Obukohwo Whiskey, Udurhie I with the Publisher of GbaramatuVoice, Jacob Abai and his General Manager, Enaibo Asiayei.

Governor Diri backs press freedom in Nigeria, bags award

By Ebi Perekeme

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has stressed the need for press freedom in the country, saying it will guarantee right to freedom of expression and boost the nation’s democratic experience.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja during the House of Representatives Press Corps’ Annual Dinner and Award ceremonies, Diri said the importance of a free press in a democracy could not be over-stressed, as it plays a major role in the development process.

A statement issued yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as expressing delight over the development of the Nigerian Press over the years, noting, however, that there is still room for improvement. 

He commended the House of Reps Press Corps for honouring him with Pride of The House of Representatives Award, saying it will spur him to do more. 

Diri restated his belief in the unity of Nigeria built on the principles of justice and equity and called for a reconciliatory mode of governance to right the wrongs that have polarised the country. 

“I am happy that my colleagues in the House still recognise our efforts. I am happy that they have their eagle eyes on my administration and our state and it will spur us to more action.

“I was shocked when I saw the level of what we have done recorded by the House of Representatives Press Corps. That is why we always advocate for freedom of the press. There is no absolute freedom anywhere, but we must allow the press to be free and open.

“I believe this is a great country and I believe in the unity of this country, but there must always be justice and equity for all,” he said.

Diri was a member of the House of Representatives between 2015 and 2019 and was in the Senate from June 2019 to February 13, 2020.

Shell confirms another oil spillage at Opukushi Field in Bayelsa

By Ebi Perekeme 

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has said that there was an oil spillage at its facility in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

This is as the Nigerian subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant noted that the spill clean-up is progressing while the Joint Investigation report is at the conclusion stage.

ALSO READ: Fresh oil spill hits Angalabiri community in Bayelsa [PHOTOS]

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Media Relations Manager of SPDC, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, saying that the spill, which discharged a yet to be ascertained volume of crude into the environment, occurred on June 15.

Odugbesan dismissed claims by residents that the oil firm was yet to respond to the spill and said that the leak was promptly contained within SPDC’s right of way.

What Shell’s Media Relations Manager is saying

Odugbesan in his statement said, “On June 15, a leak was reported at a facility of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd.’s Joint Venture at Opukushi in Ekeremo Local Government Area of Bayelsa. SPDC’s Emergency Response Team was promptly mobilised and it stopped and contained the spill within the SPDC JV right of way.

“Spill clean-up is progressing while the Joint Investigation report is being finalised for sign-off by the team comprising representatives of regulatory and relevant government agencies, the community and SPDC.’’

Meanwhile, residents of the host communities have expressed their reservations at the pollution caused by the oil spill and claimed that clean-up was yet to be carried out.

What the Head of Family hosting the oil well is saying about the oil leak

The head of the family hosting the oil well, Chief Bidei Oyinmo, said that since the spill occurred, nothing had been done to remediate the environment, stressing that the development had negatively impacted the predominantly fishing and farming settlement.

Oyinmo said, “The SPDC’s oil well No. 24 in its Opukushi oil flow station has been spilling and spreading crude oil into the swamps, creeks, ponds and the Dodo River.

“The spill has threatened our means of livelihoods and made things difficult for fishermen and residents in neighbouring Koromotoru, Azagbene and Bilabiri communities since about a month now.’’

He said the spill had stretched the people of the communities to their elastic limit hence the appeal to the government and relevant authorities to intervene.

What you should know

This new leakage is the latest in a series of oil spillages by Shell which has put the multinational oil firm in conflict with host communities.

It can be recalled that in April 2021, SPDC confirmed that an oil pipeline spillage occurred at the Okordia-Rumekpe 14-inch crude truckline, that it was operating, discharging about 213 barrels of crude oil into Ikarama community in Bayelsa State.

The report indicates that about 1.34 hectares of land were polluted by the spillage which followed a rupture on the pipeline.

A Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) report on the incident confirmed that the incident took place on April 7, while the investigation was concluded on April 12 which concluded that the spill was an operational mishap traced to equipment failure which impacted nearby palm trees and fish ponds and subsequently recommended remediation of the site.

A report has suggested that Shell has reported over 1,000 spills with about 110,535 barrels of crude or 17.5 million litres lost since 2011, although some experts and stakeholders believe that the figure could be more in reality.

Stop politicising everything, APC warns Wike 

By Our Correspondent

The APC has reacted to the over politicisation of an event which was designed to promote open and transparent administration in Rivers State.

The APC  in a swift reaction in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital, noted that Governor Nyesom Wike was expected  to render an account of stewardship to the Rivers people.

But the party regretted that the State Governor left important matters of state, particularly the rendition of an account of stewardship, to stray into the murky waters of politics and as usual, played to the gallery.

“Rivers people who gathered at the Obi Wali Conference Centre were interested in obtaining appropriate statistics relating to government’s income and expenditure for the first time since Governor Wike came on board.

“The people had similarly expected  sectoral breakdowns, complete with appropriate statistics showing how Rivers money has been spent in the last six years.

“The so-called brochure printed by the administration to showcase its account of stewardship was rather in short supply.

“We believe that this was a deliberate ploy by the Wike administration to deny the Rivers people a golden opportunity of having genuine access to credible information on how much came in within the period; how much has been spent by the administration; and how much is left in the coffers within the period under review.

“Our people have been hoodwinked all through this administration. Important documents of state policy such as budgets have been hidden from the prying eyes of the people. Today at the Conference Centre, true Rivers people witnessed a repeat of the cat and mouse game.

“Our people were not given any insight into how the economy is performing. They were not told how many jobs have been created or how much has flowed into the State through direct foreign or local investments.

“By turning the occasion into a political jamboree that would catch newspaper and television headlines, Wike has proved that his intention was not to render a proper account of stewardship.

“Rivers people want statistics to work with. They demand as of right that Government should keep them updated on all the facts.

“The fact that the media are carrying news relating to politics when issues pertaining to the economy should be in focus show that once again the Wike administration did not provide adequate statistics,  which could have caught the fancy of Journalists and other critics.

“Our conclusion is that the whole show about rendering an account of stewardship was a sham and an attempt to hoodwink the people into believing that the government is operating a transparent and accountable system.”

Orubebe’s Award of Excellence

Did Orubebe forget his theatrically cast zoning formula when he took part in the 2014 PDP Governorship Primary?

By Ekanpou Enewaridideke

The head of Elder Godsday Orubebe is always correct but the heads of some people in this world are not always correct. People no longer speak and do ‘straight things’ as Gabriel Okara would have it conveyed in its strict transliterative sense in the novel THE VOICE. Because straight things are no longer spoken and done, the world is riddled with injustice. Because the world is riddled with injustice, Orubebe had been denied the Award of Excellence for ages.

Echoes of history indicate clearly that whenever Orubebe was about to be given Award of Excellence equivalent to the prestigious merit award of Wole Soyinka’s creation called YOY (Yeomen of the Year Award) or PACT (The People Award for Common Touch)  in his novel CHRONICLES OF THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH, unnecessary distractions would come up and put an end to it. Because of repeated denials, Orubebe is yet to be given the Award of Excellence which he meritoriously deserves by his daily political engagements with people whose heads are not always correct. This age-long injustice done to Orubebe for ages must stop now because he always speaks and does ‘straight things’!

Metaphorically, Orubebe is that talented award-winning dancer who will never leave the playground except he wins a trophy – even if providentially, and sometimes without any traceable credentials to merit it. Even with his repute as a graceful dancer in political thoughts and aspirations, his dance steps are celebrated for their consistent fractional departure or deflection from the commanding rhythm of his people at different times. In 2019 Elder Orubebe quibbled and cavilled at the development efforts of Governor Okowa  and at another strategically targeted occasion, he contemptuously termed  PDP an ungrateful political party that frustrates its core believers like him. His complaint was that Governor Okowa was not doing enough developmentally but all that theatrical posturing died dramatically after trophies of political appeasement or propitiation were given to some of his core followers because his campaign of calumny against Okowa at that time originated purely from the non-acceptance of his(Orubebe’s) commissionership nominee in Delta State.

That Jonathan in the Delta
Ekanpou Enewaredideke

Elder Orubebe, the unbeatable quick-witted political strategist, is congenitally blessed and capacitated to create amazing stories around people with a characteristically unbeatable hyperbolic seasoning. With hyperbolic seasoning he promotes his created narrative but dramatically bows to superior argument of appeasement when confronted in reconciliatory language carrying ritualistic objects as if one were dealing with the ‘Abiku’ of Soyinka’s poetic creation. The narrative dies quickly then and only crops up again when he has strategically positioned himself for another engagement of appeasement ritualistically channelled. With theatrics, histrionics and profitable flourish he would create another earth-shaking narrative camouflaged as a move activated by love for the poor and voiceless people and wait for healthy appeasement engagements from the victims.

In the shrine of purity and incorruptibility, Orubebe is the high priest of  appeasement who is quick to claim the ritualistic offerings of appeasement whenever they present themselves because it is his wont to hold out the olive branch after every theatrically cast stormy narrative on living people. Must such personality be denied the Award of Excellence when his great narratives are always built around humans,and never around animals?

Psychically awakened to the existing trophy that awaits the first Ijaw man to dance against the harmonious rhythm of the Delta Ijaw governorship dream in 2023, Orubebe has made history again with his recognisably graceful dance steps! He has strategically positioned himself as the advocate of zoning formula with a promise to labour for Delta Central Senatorial District to produce the 2023 governor of Delta State. Orubebe, the ideologically dedicated self-appointed advocate of zoning formula in Delta State, was the former Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs who contested the 2014 PDP Governorship Primary against Governor Okowa and almost won the Primary because his intimidating score was 49 while Governor Okowa had 406, followed by David Edevbie who scored 299. Did Orubebe forget his theatrically cast zoning formula when he took part in the 2014 PDP Governorship Primary? Even at that, as a man of honour more honourable than the Shakespearean Mark Anthony, Elder Orubebe is the best man to anchor the advocacy for zoning formula or zoning arrangement as a political power-transmission strategy because he has no single record of violating this principle of rotational zoning that ‘orubebecally’ entitles Delta Central Senatorial District to the 2023 governorship seat.

On 22nd May 2021 at BB Hotels in Warri Professor Benjamin Okaba, the National President of Ijaw National Congress, made the ‘Haan-Izonically’ applauded declaration that anyone who selfishly played anti-Ijaw politics in 2023 as regards the Delta State governorship space would be rewarded with a karmic retirement from the earth of human habitation, held perpetually incommunicado in the underground cell. Is it in a state of deliberate forgetfulness, Greek-like political hubris, flawless political calculation or deliberate confrontation strategically targeted at Professor Okaba that Orubebe has chosen to dance skillfully for Delta Central Senatorial District using tired and ponderous words long abandoned in the lexicon of public communication? Has Orubebe spotted another trophy to be won again upon healthy appeasement engagements?

Yesterday, Orubebe enjoyed the glorious historical space as the trail-blazer of anti-party politics and decampment in my generation in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State who worked devotedly for PDP while he was in APP as the Delta State APP party  Chairman and later decamped to PDP. Governor James Ibori promptly rewarded  him with Special Adviser  to the Governor as a kind of ritualistic appeasement which is a specialised language known for its irresistible magnetic pull on  Elder Orubebe anytime it is felicitously deployed.

Elder Orubebe’s YESTERDAY has just retired from radiance. Today Orubebe is the dedicated campaigner of zoning formula that sees the 2023 Delta State governorship seat as the entitlement of the Delta Central Senatorial District. He has ideologically distanced himself from the collective position of the  Delta Ijaws whose collective vision is to produce the 2023 governor in Delta State. Orubebe has become the lone opposition voice to ‘Delta-Ijawism’ as a development theory propounded by King Alfred Izonebi to galvanise the Delta Ijaws  into action in their resolve to produce the 2023 governor of Delta State. By the popularly unpopular stand of Orubebe he has met the minimum requirement for the Award of Excellence that had long waited for him for ages. The Award of Excellence must not be denied Elder  Orubebe as it had contrarily always been in the past because this time around he has put up a superlative performance in his pathological ideological stand that satirises King Alfred Izonebi’s ‘Delta-Ijawism’.

Now that Elder Godsday Orubebe has become the talented award-winning dancer before whom the dancing skills of Michael Jackson, Ajasco, Tosi Pafiye, Dilaye Kokole, Embeleakpo Amgbare and Ferebo Augustine pale into insignificance, has been voted for and okayed for the Award of Excellence, he is free to support anybody for governor in Delta State but must not preach his theatrical zoning formula because he (Orubebe) is a flawlessly unrepentant violator of the so-called zoning arrangement when he joined the Delta State governorship race in 2014 and scored  the formidable 49 that memorably intensified his unbeatable popularity and populism in Delta politics, and this formidable score of Orubebe is as it was  announced by Hon. Karim Sunday Steve the Election Returning Officer for the 2014 Delta State PDP Governorship Primary.

The award of excellence has been confirmed given to Orubebe for his consistency in whimsical ideological shifts here and there, particularly in his advocacy for the theatrical zoning formula based on Senatorial Districts which he now theatrically sees and theatrically projects as the entitlement of Delta Central Senatorial District. Now that Orubebe has eventually got the Award of Excellence, the injustice associated with this age-long  merit award denied him for ages  is buried for good.

Native chalk has just claimed every part of my stomach because the world has been boldly awakened to the fact that Orubebe can no longer complain of injustice, neither would it be said that the heads of some people in this world are not correct. Now that the heads of some people in this world are seen to be correct, now that the people have begun to speak and do straight things, which is traditionally the ideal, Orubebe must be told this in a clear language of public communication: If rotational zoning is the basis for the emergence of the Delta State 2023 governorship, it must start with the Delta South Senatorial District because all the Districts have touched and licked the governorship honey off their fingers; in the first order of rotational zoning, it began with Delta Central Senatorial District and so in its reversed order, it must begin with Delta South Senatorial District because the rotational formula historically began with the Delta Central Senatorial District, followed by the Delta South Senatorial District and the Delta North Senatorial District. Justice demands that the reversed order should begin with Delta South Senatorial District. Or where the Delta 2023 governorship  is based on ethnic groups, it is the right of the Ijaws to claim the Delta governorship because the Urhobo, Itsekiri and Anioma Ethnic groups have all tested the prestigious  governorship seat imagistically cast as ‘mammy-water’ by King Alfred Izonebi in his seminal song entitled ‘Delta Ijaw’.

If one must be faithful to existing historical records, even Elder Orubebe could testify based on prime facie evidence  that only the Ijaw and Isoko ethnic groups are yet to produce a governor in Delta State. Whether the candidature of the Delta State governorship is based on rotational zoning formula or ethnic groups, the two sides of the coin are still very much in favour of the Ijaws. And  even in terms of voting strength and resources the Delta South Senatorial District has everything in abundance to form a strong political alliance with any co-operative senatorial district. This is the straight thing the Ijaws want Elder Orubebe to know, internalise, verbalise, advocate and canvass now that he has been given his coveted Award of Excellence for which he had been denied for ages – a period of Award-of-Excellence denial ponderously longer than the time-duration in Andrew Marvel’s poem ‘To His Coy Mistress’.

Incidentally,  does Elder Orubebe realise that the Award of Excellence given to him is to guide him ‘Gabrielokaraically’ towards the speaking and doing the ‘straight things’ so that he (Orubebe) can find ‘IT’ in the search for IT in the 2023 Delta governorship race? Elder Orubebe should no longer be asked the question, have you found IT because he has been navigated ‘Gabrielokaraically’?

Enewaridideke,Writes from Akparemogbene, Delta State


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