Oil-producing communities in Bayelsa have asked the Federal Government, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and its Joint Ventures (JV), to disregard the purported 21-day ultimatum from a group in the area.
The communities included stakeholders from the OML 79 host communities in Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas of the state.
Operating under the aegis of Concerned Citizens of Kou, Iduwini, Bassan West and Mein Clan SPDC EA Communities, the group made the request in a statement issued in Yenagoa by their spokesman, Chief Paul Oweipade.
In the statement, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria , on Thursday, the group urged the federal government and oil companies to continue with their operations.
It stated, “We categorically wish to urge SPDC and JV to disregard the purported 21 days ultimatum.
The group regretted that while SPDC had acquitted itself in implementing the CSR under community content, some communities allegedly traded off the contracts meant for indigenes to non-indigenous contractors.
“For the avoidance of doubt, SPDC and her JV have in her CT Agreement implemented the following contracts, 10 vessels supply contracts, Automative Gas Oil, AGO supply, waste management and potable water supply, amongst others.
“It is also instructive to note that the EA operations started in 2001 and not 2006 as alleged.
“We wish to also state that the implementation of 15 per cent fund for women is solely the GMoU Cluster Development Board (CDB), affairs,” the group added.
It expressed disbelief that after praising the oil companies for accomplishing its CSR to the host communities in a recent meeting with them, a section of the communities threatened to disrupt oil operations in the area.
Edited By: Sam Oditah/Donald Ugwu (NAN)https://nnn.ng/bayelsa-host-communities-urge-fg-shell-to-ignore-alleged-21-days-ultimatum/
Edo election: INEC presents certificates of return to Gov. Obaseki, Shaibu
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the ceremony took place at the Collation centre, at the State headquarters of INEC in Benin.
The Edo governorship election Returning Officer, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Ruke, had on Sunday declared Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the governorship election in the state.
Rim-Rukeh had declared Obaseki winner after polling 307,955 votes to defeat his closest opponent Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who garnered 223,619 votes and 12 other candidates.
The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, presented the certificates of return to both the governor-elect and the deputy governor-elect.
Agbamuche-Mbu said that the presentation of the CORs was a statutory obligation of the Commission which must be carried out within seven days after its declaration of a winner.
She said, “This occasion is only made possible because of the successful conduct of the governorship election last Saturday, Sept. 19.
“INEC, I believe, has played its humble part but we have always maintained that a successfully conducted election is a collective effort, and so it has proven to be,” she said.
In his acceptance speech, Obaseki thanked God and Edo people for a peaceful election, adding that history had been made in the state.
Obaseki said INEC’s national Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, should receive most of the accolades for his steadfastness and ability to withstand pressure, adding that using his intellect in introducing technology for the election should be hailed by all.
“Because it has introduced different element of transparency in the way we conduct election in Nigeria
“I am using this opportunity to extend a hand of fellowship to my brother, Osagie Ize-iyamu, and other colleagues in the APC to work with us to move Edo forward.
“On a specific note, I want to use this occasion to call on former National chairman of the APC Adams Oshiomhole that the fight is over, to come and join in building the house where he was part of laying the foundation.
“We have no malice; the only thing we disagreed on is on the approach in moving Edo forward.’’
Obaseki, who also commended President Muhammadu Buhari, said the president would be remembered as the father of democracy in Nigeria.
“This is because he had a choice to ensure and insist that his party wins in the state but he rose above partisan politics, and insisted the right be done,” he said.
According to him, I want to finally thank his royal majesty, Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, for his fatherly role, for the prayers for peace, and for being that symbol we all look up to.
Earlier in his address, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Mr Johnson Alalibo, said the ceremony was just another fulfilment of the provisions of the law.
“My joy knows no bound as I am standing here to present this welcome address, having conducted an election without any loss of life,” he said.
Alalibo commended the candidates, security personnel and the entire people of Edo for their display of professionalism and maturity during the election.
According to him, this election has already been adjudged as one of the best and it shall so remain in the annals of our history.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Donald Ugwu
Ogun community lauds Airtel for restoring electricity 15 years after disconnection
The residents of Isokan in Ogun on Monday commended Airtel Nigeria for assisting in restoring electricity, 15 years after the community was thrown into darkness.
Airtel said in a statement that Isokan community had been disconnected from public power grid since 2005 due to equipment failure.
The telco said the situation of the Isokan community was brought to its attention via Airtel Touching Lives initiative which prompted the company to intervene.
“The story was featured in an episode of the television programme, ‘Airtel Touching Lives’, which aired earlier in the year on national TV.
‘It showed community members narrating how livelihoods had been adversely impacted over the years, throwing homes, families and businesses in distress,” it said.
According to the statement, during the moving episode, Airtel pledged to support the community with the sum of N7 million to bankroll the electrification project which had been abandoned due to lack of funds.
It said the telco had since delivered on its promise, restoring power to the community following the erection of 29 utility poles and connection of the high tension and low tension cables to the main power grid transformer.
The people of Isokan community commended Airtel for restoring their long lost hope and giving hundreds of families a chance at a better life as businesses could now thrive with the prospect of stable electricity, it said.
Commenting, Secretary, Electrification of Isokan Community, Mr Bamidele Moses, said the intervention was life-changing.
He lauded Airtel for truly touching the lives of those in dire need without fanfare.
“Airtel Touching Lives has really touched our lives beyond our imagination. It still feels unreal because we have been in this situation for so long and nobody came to our rescue.
“I just want to thank Airtel for such generosity. This means so much to the people of Isokan. May God bless Airtel always,” Moses said.
Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, Airtel Nigeria, Emeka Oparah, said: “Airtel is committed to creating opportunities for Nigerians and providing platforms that will make lives better.
“The Airtel Touching Lives initiative has a singular vision of providing relief for communities and individuals who require them.
“We are excited that life has returned to the Isokan Community and we will not relent in our efforts of reaching out to underprivileged persons and communities across the country,” he said.
Airtel Touching Lives is an inspiring CSR initiative that seeks to offer relief, succor, hope, opportunities and credible platforms to liberate and empower the underprivileged.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Bayelsa begins 2021budget process, pledges citizens’ participation
The Bayelsa government on Monday said the 2021 budget would be driven by the citizens’ input and participation toward the utilisation of public funds based on the needs of the people.
Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa said that the government was poised to adopting best practices in budget process by engaging all stakeholders, which include the executive, legislature, civil society, labour, youths, women and community leaders, physically challenged amongst others.
Diri, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewrhudjakpo said that the state was adopting the citizen based approach in budgetary process for the second time.
“The Citizen’s Participation Budget Conference has been called in compliance with section 22(2) of the Fiscal Responsibility Law of 2009 (as amended) which states:
“The government shall direct citizen’s participation conference to be convened and cause the outcomes of the said conference, together with the view expressed to be published on the state website.
”Itis designed to ensure accountability and strong collaboration by all stakeholders in stewarding our communal resources.
“Indeed, in reviewing and approving the annual state budget, you play the vital role of guaranteeing that we apportion our resources sensibly and in accordance with our shared vision and values, with a view toward helping all our citizens thrive and prosper in a sustainable manner.
“Budget policy is therefore, mostly about planning. As Benjamin Franklin stated, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
“The impact of COVID 19 pandemic and the heavy toll it has taken on our inflows from federal allocations, means that the need to plan to diversify our economy has become more urgent,” Diri said.
He said that the government would focus on security, health, education and agriculture in the 2012 fiscal year for allocating resources among competing needs and plan for delivering on its promises and obligation to the citizens of Bayelsa.
Speaking earlier, Mr Akpoebidei Alamieyeseigha, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning noted that the participation of citizens would eliminate the issue of duplicating projects and ensure value for money.
He said that the input of the people at the foundational non-technical stage was critical to the success of the next statues and urged the stakeholders to participate meaningfully in the process.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that representatives of several groups took turns to make contributions and the NEEDS Assessment during the interactive session segment.
Chief Joshua Igbugburu, the Monarch of Bomo clan in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa urged the state government to fund the Yenagoa-Poroma road project to connect the coastal communities.
Also Mrs Dise Ogbise, the Executive Director, DO Foundation, who spoke on behalf of the Civil Society commended the government for adopting a transparent approach by involving members of the public.
She pledged the support of civil society organisations in the state to the process.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf
Obaseki’s reelection is triumph of democracy – Gov. Diri
Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has congratulated his Edo counterpart, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on his re-election, describing the victory as triumph of democracy in the state.
Diri said Obaseki’s resounding victory as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was a triumph for democracy and, indeed, the people of Edo .
The governor, in a statement issued to the News Agency of Nigeria , on Sunday by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, observed that people’s power, as expressed in Saturday’s governorship election in Edo remained the most potent force in any democracy.
He, therefore, commended the electoral umpire for upholding the will of the Edo people in spite of reported pressure to unduly influence the outcome of the poll.
The governor, noted that Obaseki’s re-election would give greater impetus to development of the state as he remained the most popular choice of the people.
“This victory belongs to Edo people, who have proved they can make their votes count. People’s power in any democracy is the most potent force.
“I, therefore, congratulate my brother and colleague, Obaseki, on his resounding victory as declared by INEC.
“His re-election has shown and proven that he is, indeed, a man of the people. So, I urge him to be magnanimous in victory.
“I also commend INEC, for upholding democracy and for allowing the will of Edo people to prevail.
“Democracy in Nigeria will be strengthened when democratic institutions play their stipulated roles without undue interference,” he said.
The Bayelsa governor further congratulated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for securing yet another heartwarming victory in Edo.
He said that he was particularly delighted that all the states in the South-South region now belonged to the PDP family.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu