Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has reiterated commitment of the state government to attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to enhance the living conditions of his people.
Diri gave the assurance when he visited the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina Mohammed at the UN headquarters in New York.
He said the continued collaboration with the global body would fast-track development in such areas as education, health, youth, and women empowerment, food production and the environment.
The governor, who congratulated Mohammed for rising to the enviable position and for her great work at the UN, said that the collaboration would enhance the prosperity agenda of his government to the people of the state.
He said that his government had been building critical infrastructure that would provide great opportunities to open up Bayelsa for more investments in different sectors.
“First, we are here to congratulate you on your appointment and to say that you are a worthy ambassador of Nigeria in the United Nations.
“So far, you have done very well occupying this office, please continue to help humanity. We have come to strengthen the existing relationship between Bayelsa and the UN.
“We are committed to the attainment of the SDGs for the betterment of our people in education, health, sanitation, access to clean water and ensuring we live in a safe environment devoid of pollution,” Diri said.
He said that the state government took a deliberate effort to open up the maritime domain with the three ongoing Senatorial roads linking several riverine communities and corridors to the Atlantic Ocean.
According to him, so much opportunity exists for the establishment of a sea port and massive aquaculture project.
“Yes, we are an oil producing state but we have more wealth in the sea and agriculture, because, we are located in the Gulf of Guinea, we must also strive to tackle the security issues on our water ways to attract serious investments.
“I have offered to host the meeting of the Gulf of Guinea in Yenagoa. When our waterways are safe, we can tap the tourism potential there in.
“We already have an agreement with a European consortium on deep sea fishing and ship building, an investment capable of providing more than 2,000 jobs.
“The roads we are constructing along the three corridors will take us to Brass, Agge in Ekeremor to develop a deep sea port and also link us to the Ocean through Oporoma,” Diri said.
On the unabated environmental pollution and degradation, Diri said the ongoing clean-up in Ogoni land by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) should be extended to the entire oil-rich Niger Delta.
According to him, Bayelsa is worst affected by incidents of oil spills leaving behind attendant devastated ecology and health issues.
“You are very familiar with our stories and the Niger Delta environment. We must commend what you started in Ogoni as then Minister of Environment.
“Our land, rivers are polluted. The remediation of the region must be total. Bayelsa is worst affected.”
Responding, Mohammed appreciated the pace of development in the state since its creation in 1996, adding that the UN was ready to deepen the existing relationship with the state to support ongoing development efforts by the current administration.
“A lot has happened in terms of infrastructure in Bayelsa state since creation alongside my own state of Gombe. We are here to support nations, communities to grow.
“We are working with leaders like you to add value to the lives of the people and create opportunities for the young people to harness their potential.
“Here, we are working hard to realise those SDGs and make our society better,” she said.
Mohammed who welcomed the request for the hosting of the Gulf of Guinea meeting by the state, said the UN was disturbed at the level of environmental pollution in the oil-rich Niger Delta, a situation she described as `complete disaster’.
“It is not just about Ogoni land but the remediation should be for all oil producing places.
“The means of livelihood of the people, fishing and farming are greatly affected. The oil pollution is a complex thing and it is a complete disaster which requires urgent intervention.”
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General of Nigeria in New York accompanied the governor to the UN headquarters.
Others are Hon. Fred Agbedi, Member representing Federal Constituency in the National Assembly and Mrs Patience Abah, the Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa State Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investments and Major Lancelot Anyanya (rtd.) (
Bayelsa State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BioCubaFarma Consortium of the Republic of Cuba for the establishment of vaccines and pharmaceuticals production plant in the State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this is a fall-out of a 3-day investment visit to Cuba led by the state governor, Sen. Douye Diri.
The Bayelsa Commissioner for Health, Dr Pabara Igwele, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investments, Patience Abah, signed the MoU for the government at a ceremony in Havana, the Cuban capital.
Dr Mayda Mauri Pérez, the First Vice President of BioCubaFarma, signed for the Consortium.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Amb. Benaoyagha Okoyen, the Nigerian Ambassador to Cuba.
NAN reports that the MoU indicates that the partnership is in furtherance of an earlier bilateral agreement signed between the Nigerian Government and that of Cuba.
The earlier agreement is on scientific cooperation, technology transfer, academic collaboration and the co-production of vaccines and other pharmacological products in the country.
The Republic of Cuba has lately joined the league of nations that have gained international recognition for its medical breakthroughs and advancements.
Igwele said the partnership deal marked a milestone in the quest of the government to attract investments into the State.
“This is a good development for us in Bayelsa State.
“The vaccines and other pharmaceutical products are in high demand in Nigeria and beyond.
“With the centre here, Bayelsa can serve other states and nations in the West African sub-region.
“In the next few months, the technical teams from both sides will work out further details of the agreement,” he said.
The commissioner said the vaccines and pharmaceuticals production centre would provide job opportunities, build expertise of young Bayelsans and also ensure technology transfer for sustainability of the plant.
Also, as part of the visit, the Bayelsa State delegation met with Deputy Governor of Havana Province, Cuba, Mrs Yanet Hernandez Parez and Vice Minister for Trade, Matanzas Province, Cuba, Ms Deborah Rivas Saavedra.
The meeting was to explore other business opportunities for the State.
The officials discussed ways of exploring business opportunities on sugar production, renewable energy, ICT and exchange programmes for students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Others who joined the governor for the various meetings were Mr Fred Agbedi, member representing Federal Constituency, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, Vice Chancellor, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa and Retired Major Lancelot Anyanya, among others. (
Bayelsa State Governor, Sen. Douye Diri, has called on diaspora Ijaws to instill the values, culture and tradition of ijaw on their children.
Diri made the call at the gala night to wrap up the 2022 Ijaw Diaspora Convention in Newark, New Jersey State in the United States of America.
“A man who has no culture is lost. The beginning of a man’s culture is language and then his dressing. So, I count on you to ensure the sustenance of the rich Ijaw culture.
“My physical presence here should tell you the importance I attach to the cause of Ijaw nation.
“I am equally happy with what this group is doing, bringing all Ijaws in diaspora together.
“Consciously, we must continue to preserve and promote the Ijaw culture and tradition wherever we find ourselves. That applies to all of you abroad.’’
Speaking on the insecurity in Nigeria, Diri stressed the urgent need to allow the establishment of functional state-owned police across Nigeria.
He expressed optimism that the operations of State Police would end the state of insecurity in the country.
The governor insisted on the restructuring of Nigeria and devolution of power to the states, and stressed the need for the Federal Government to respect the true dictates of a federal system.
He said the Federal Government should respect the true dictates of the Federal System fashioned after the U.S. democratic system where equity, fairness and justice remain the order of the day.
“The security challenges are there in Nigeria and that is why some of us are asking for restructuring of Nigeria. There has to be devolution of powers to the states.
“Right here in the U.S, I can see policemen who are not federal but under the jurisdiction of their respective states.
“That is the federal system. In Nigeria, why can’t we have state-owned policemen? state governments should be allowed and that will contribute to security in the country,” the governor said.
According to him, the current administration in Bayelsa is investing massively in security to create enabling environment for investments to thrive.
“We have been in the U.S. for some days now and have met various groups and institutions for partnerships and investments in the state.
“Bayelsa is so blessed in oil and gas but we are redirecting our energies to gas, renewable energy and agriculture among others. The meetings have been very encouraging and positive.
“But for us, we know that security is key and that was why we established the Bayelsa State Community Safety Corps headed by a retired Brigadier-General.
“We are involving our youth in the security of their localities. Of course, relatively in Nigeria, Bayelsa remains one of the safest states.”
Diri urged the diaspora Ijaws to support efforts of the government to attract investment opportunities to their state.
The governor took opportunity of the event to keep the diaspora Ijaws up to speed about development in the state, including the ongoing construction of the three senatorial roads.
“Through the three senatorial roads, we are connecting many riverine communities by roads. We also want to ensure that all our Local Government headquarters hitherto not linked by road are connected.
“For the Sagbama-Ekeremor road in the Bayelsa West, we are working to ensure the completion and commissioning during the 3rd anniversary of our government
“In Bayelsa Central, the Yenagoa-Oporoma road is progressing with the bridge to connect Angiama community to Oporoma, the Southern Ijaw Local Government headquarters awarded.
“Just about two weeks ago, the last one in the East, Nembe-Brass road was flagged-off after decades that the road had been on the drawing board,” the governor said.
He urged them to ensure they work closely with the national executive of the Ijaw National Congress (INC).
This he said they could do by adding their voices to trending national debates and promotion of the culture of the fourth largest ethnic group in the country.
In his address, the Chairman of the occasion and member representing Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Dr Fred Agbedi, stressed the need for the Ijaw people to continue to unite.
Agbedi urged those in diaspora to always contribute to the development of their state back home.
The President of Ijaw Diaspora Council, Prof. Mondy Gold, expressed the appreciation of the council to the governor and other top Ijaw leaders for their attendance and participation.
He said that the forum had formed a strong network across the globe to stand firmly together for the progress of Ijaw nation.
Other dignitaries present at the occasion were Amb. Tijjani Mohammed-Bande, Nigeria Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Ben Okoyen, Nigerian Amb. to Cuba, and Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, among others. (www.nanenws.ng)
The Bayelsa-owned University of Africa, Toru-Orua, (UAT) on Friday said it was seeking the establishment of an endowment fund for research purposes.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the institution said its focus would be on solving developmental challenges and the advancement of the society.
The university made a case for the endowment fund at the 2nd Annual Public Lecture of the Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences.
The lecture had as its topic “Utilising Untapped Research Funding Opportunities: An Imperative for Innovative Research in the University System“.
It was intended to enlighten stakeholders on the need for financial support for the institution.
The Dean, Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences, Prof. Francis Sikoki, in his address of welcome, said that the university’s catchment was bedevilled by many challenges, which could be addressed through research.
He listed such challenges to include flood and erosion, the menace of waterborne diseases, resource depletion occasioned by pollution and environmental degradation.
“Unfortunately, despite the large pool of experts in various disciplines in the university system, the paucity of funds to carry out problem-solving researches has been a major constraint.
“Fortunately, there is a large number of research funding sources which are not being adequately explored.
“One of such areas is the establishment of an endowment fund dedicated to research funding. This is precisely the reason for this public lecture being held today, first to create awareness and secondly to mobilise resources for research, ” Sikoki said.
The guest lecturer and Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Dr Godknows Igali, stressed the need for universities to seek alternative funding.
He said public sector funding of the country’s university system was on the decline.
He suggested that apart from endowments, research funding could also be sourced from alumni bodies, partnership with industry, accessing development funding, university linkages, through putting on the entrepreneurial cap and adoption of blending approach to funding research, among other sundry sources.
Igali, while advising the university’s management to be innovative, said: “The question ahead of us is where does the University of Africa want to belong?
“My submission would be we should be on the right side of history, of being a national problem solver and a much sought after institution around the world.
“It is our disposition towards today that would determine where the University of Africa will be in terms of its relevance in the global education market. But then as the saying goes, it is impossible to make an omelette without breaking eggs, “ he said.
Igali said this would require innovation and creativity from the university’s management.
“For this, as stated earlier, the university must be able to recruit and have the right calibre of staff who can handle this highly specialised duties of raising funds from multiple sources.
“This is because it would be difficult for a researcher to be the one who has the responsibility of carrying out investigation and studies and at the same time be saddled with the hunt for resources,” he said.
In his remarks, Gov. Douye Diri called on federal agencies such as the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to support the state in the funding of research projects by its tertiary institutions.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, also implored the state-owned institutions of higher learning to redouble their efforts to tap research funds lying idle at the NCDMB and other public-spirited corporate bodies.
He emphasised the importance of research in tertiary education and the overall development of society, noting that what makes an educational institution to stand out is the quality of its research works.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of UAT, Prof. Kingston Nyamapfene, said that the public lecture was a clarion call on all stakeholders, especially government to invest more resources in research and development to meet the manpower needs of the university system and society at large. (
Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa will showcase the state’s rich economic and cultural resources at a two-day Ijaw diaspora convention slated to hold in New Jersey, U.S. starting from Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Diri, a prominent Ijaw son, who is in the U.S. for economic and cultural mission to two states of New York and New Jersey arrived on Tuesday.
Diri is in the two states to market the rich resources of Bayelsa to foreign investors with the purpose of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the state in different sectors of the economy.
“We came here on a two-prong visit, to bring Bayelsa State to the U.S. and to the world, as a state that is ready and prepared to attract FDI and as a State that is culturally very strong, bringing our culture to the world.
“Bayelsa State has been known as hub of oil and gas. The commercial oil operations began in a community call Oloibiri in Bayelsa State as far back 1956.
“The world is now moving away from crude oil to cleaner energy.
“We have abundance gas resources and in fact, we have more gas reserves than the crude oil. So, investment opportunities abound in the state,” he said.
NAN reports that Diri has been meeting with different individuals and organisations to discuss investment opportunities to Bayelsa and to partner in the areas of health, energy and technology, among others.
Earlier, Diri visited the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija, at Nigeria House.
Diri told Muhammad-Bande that he was so glad to visit the Nigeria House, saying, “I have been hearing about this Nigeria House.
`We want to thank you for the warm welcome we received from you since we arrived U.S, at the Permanent Mission and the Nigeria Consulate in New York.’’
Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, leading Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri in Nigeria House, New York. The governor is in accompany by his Technical Adviser, protocol, Joe Waribagha.
NAN reports that the U.S. is the largest foreign investor in Nigeria.
According to the U.S. International Trade Administration, the Foreign Direct Investments are in the oil, mining, and wholesale trade sectors.
In the Northeast, the States of New York and New Jersey stand out as States with great economic potential.
The GDP of the state of New York is about two trillion dollars and if the state were an independent country, it would rank as the 10th largest economy in the world.
In the second quarter of 2021, New Jersey had the 8th largest economy of the 50 states as measured by GDP.
Over the past 25 years, New Jersey has ranked among the top six states and has relied heavily on service and technology-based industries. (
Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has appealed to Nigerians in diaspora to continue to support their homeland in spite of security challenges, pleading ”don’t allow your country to die’’.
Diri, who made the appeal at a dinner in his honour, organised by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York at Nigeria House on Wednesday night, said the insecurity in the country had been exaggerated.
The governor said Nigeria would grow from strength to strength if its citizens home and abroad would do their part by contributing its development.
He, however, acknowledged that Nigeria had been going through some political and security challenges, noting that some states are still safe.
“Bayelsa is one of the safest states in Nigeria and that is why we are here in the U.S. to attract foreign investments and to showcase our rich cultural heritage.
“As you know, Bayelsa has been known as a state of oil and gas; as the world is moving to cleaner energy, the state is also positioned for diversity because it has more gas than oil.
“We have abundance gas resources and in fact, we have more gas reserves than crude oil. So, investment opportunities abound in the state,’’ the governor said. Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, speaking at a dinner organised in honour of Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa at Nigeria House, New York.
Egopija said the Consulate, on its part, would continue to serve as the spring board for trade missions to and from Nigeria and liaise with individuals, corporate bodies and organisations seeking to invest in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is the second largest U.S. export destination in Sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. and Nigeria have a bilateral commercial investment dialogue and Nigeria is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
“Similarly, the trade in goods between the two countries total over 10 billion dollars annually. With these indices, the potential for continued Nigeria-United States economic partnership is huge.
“The Nigerian Missions in the U.S. are committed to building lasting partnerships that would stimulate, sustain and deepen Nigerian-American relations,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Nigeria Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad Bande, appreciated the governor for the initiative of embarking on a cultural and trade mission to the U.S.
The President of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), New York chapter, Bobby Digi, in his goodwill message thanked the leadership of the Consulate for providing the platform to collaborate.
The Bayelsa Government on Thursday began the construction of first phase of the Nembe-Brass road linking the two coastal local government areas.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the project was inaugurated by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, at Nembe.
The project, which is one of the three senatorial roads in the state, had been on the drawing board of successive administrations in the country from the colonial era in the 1940s.
Bayelsa Gov. Douye Diri’s administration revived the project with the first phase of 21km and 10 bridges awarded to Setraco Nigeria Limited for N54.1billion.
The road, when completed, will open up the Brass Island, which has key national economic assets.
The assets include the Agip Oil export terminal, the ongoing Brass Liquefied Natural Gas and the Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical projects.
Fashola was represented by Mr Godwin Eke, the Director of Highways South-South, who lauded Gov Diri for commencing the project.
The minister urged the ministry to leverage on the government’s current tax credit scheme with the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to the advantage of the project.
He stressed that road development was another way of delivering prosperity to the people and congratulated the state government on the strides achieved.
Gov Diri, in his remark, said the road had suffered several setbacks but that his administration was determined to end them.
The governor also pledged to end the sufferings of the people of Nembe and Brass in the hands of sea pirates and kidnappers.
He expressed dismay that the steps initiated by his government to benefit from the Federal Government tax relief scheme were unsuccessful.
He explained that the efforts which were channeled through the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum, were frustrated by some forces at the centre.
The governor noted that as a government committed to serving the people, it commenced the bidding process for suitable contractors and congratulated Setraco for winning it.
He assured the people of Nembe and Brass of his government’s commitment to the project, regardless of the dwindling economic situation in the country.
“Let me appreciate the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Minister, who did not only reply when we wrote but also showed keen interest in this project.
“We wanted to replicate what was being done in Bonny Island in Rivers State with the tax relief scheme of the present government at the centre.
“We thought that part of Agip’s tax remitted to the Federal Government can also be ploughed into construction of the Nembe-Brass road.
“Unfortunately, the reply we got from Agip was not encouraging. We, however, resolved that with or without Agip or any other person, this road must commence this year,” Diri said.
Gov Diri recalled that the history of the road dated back to pre-independence era, adding that former President Goodluck Jonathan had awarded the contract for this same road for clearing.
“This road has suffered several setbacks. No wonder you find all the traditional leadership of Nembe present here today.
“That tells you the importance the people of Nambe Kingdom attach to this road.
“For us as a government, ours is to serve our people. These are the legacy projects that will speak for us and our children.” Diri said.
Diri called on the youth and other stakeholders to take the project as their own and protect it.
He emphasised the economic advantage of the road to the local economy, as well as its attendant benefits to the nation at large.
Earlier, Bayelsa Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Moses Teibowei, said the road would attract large investment to Brass Island.
He said it had the potential of an economic free trade zone and transforming the area to an economic and tourism hub of the state.
Teibowei explained that the project was divided into three phases with the first commencing from Nembe to Saint Nicolas River.
The second phase would be a 600 metre bridge crossing the river, while the third phase would be from the bridge to Twon-Brass.
Also, the Deputy Managing Director of Setraco Nigeria Limited, Mr Ziad Muonanse, thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in his company for construction of major roads in the state.
He assured that the company would deliver on the project to the highest standards and within the stipulated time.
In a goodwill message, the Amanyanabo of Nembe, King Edmund Daukoru, expressed gratitude to Diri for bringing to fruition a dream that had long been on their minds.
Also, the Amanyanabo of Opu-Nembe, King Josiah Biobelemoye, described Diri as a true reflection of a miracle to the people of Nembe Kingdom through the groundbreaking of the project.
Similarly, the Amanyanabo of Okpoama Kingdom, King Ebitimi Banigo, said after more than 50 years, their dream finally came true through the passion shown by Diri.
He promised that the governor’s gesture would be reciprocated by the people of the area.
The project is estimated to be completed in 24 to 36 months. (
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, will on Thursday inaugurate the construction of the Nembe-Brass road project in Bayelsa.
The long-awaited project, on the drawing board of the federal government for decades, is being undertaken by the Gov. Douye Diri’s administration in Bayelsa, which awarded its construction to Setraco Nigeria Limited.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the first phase covering a distance of 21 kilometres with 10 bridges is estimated at N54.1 billion.
Diri said on Wednesday during the 79th state executive council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, that the project had a historic significance and economic importance to Bayelsa and the country.
Located on the Brass Island, the road will facilitate access to an oil export terminal operated by oil major, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, as well as the ongoing Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company project.
The governor, called on well-meaning sons and daughters of the state as well as leaders of Bayelsa East Senatorial District to be present at the inauguration ceremony.
“Let me use this medium to invite and call on all of us from the eastern senatorial district, particularly communities in Nembe and Brass, as we kick-start the construction of this historic road project,” he said.
Gov. Douye Diri, of Bayelsa, on Tuesday, tasked all stakeholders to play their roles to ensure speedy dispensation of justice in the state.
The governor gave the charge at the inauguration of members of the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring at the State Judiciary Multi-Door Court Complex, in Yenagoa.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor was represented at the event by his Deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
Diri emphasised that there was a compelling and urgent need to do what he called ‘critical self-examination’ to get it right with the administration of the criminal justice system.
According to him, equity holds the key to a peaceful and virtually crime-free society, where no one is denied their rightful benefits and entitlements as law-abiding citizens.
The governor said that the lack of equity in the Nigerian society had over the years provided the breeding ground for the emergence of criminals and criminality in every part of the country.
“Let us talk more about equity because I believe most of the crimes being committed in our society is as a result of lack of equity.
“A man who is into oil bunkering feels that his country is producing the crude oil from his backyard and he is not getting a fair reward from it.
“And so, he feels that the only way for him to get the `national cake’ is to go for illegal refining. We arrest and criminalise them, but the question is, if there is equity, will he still go and break the pipelines?
“I’m not trying to be a lawyer or solicitor on their behalf, but I also think there is the need for equity.
“More often than not what we have done in our society is to put justice first instead of equity.
‘Equity is the bedrock of every system. Justice is a remedy for injury. But when we talk about equity, it means you are giving to me what is rightly due me,” he said.
Diri noted that the country had not fully attained its goals in the dispensation of justice because the justice system had been compromised.
He enjoined that the Police, the Correctional centres and the Judiciary should effectively play their constitutional roles to achieve seamless delivery of justice.
The governor, who made a case for mobile courts in the rural areas to handle criminal cases, further suggested that magistrates should make unscheduled visits to police stations in local government areas to examine files of detainees, some of whom are being illegally detained.
In her remarks, Justice Kate Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa, explained that the need for the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law justified the inauguration of the committee in the state.
Abiri assured that the state’s judiciary as critical institution in the administration of criminal justice sector would continue to play its role to complement the work of the State Implementation Committee.
She noted that when the committee was operational, it would speed up criminal trials in the courts by cutting out most of the delays currently being experienced.
The Chairman of the Bayelsa State Administration of Criminal Justice Interim Monitoring Committee is the Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, while Senior Magistrate Mariam Pere and Mr. Charlie Ebinyon are to serve as Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively.
Other members of the committee are the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Biriyai Dambo (SAN), the Bayelsa Commissioner of Police, CP Ben Okolo and the state Comptroller of the Nigerian Correctional Services, Mr Seth Edoughotu are members.
Also in the committee are the Chairman Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Yenagoa Branch, Mr Ukunbiriowei Saiyou; the State Coordinator of the Legal Aid Council, Mr Eddy Inemo; representative of civil society, Mr Jim Dorgu; and the state Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Mr Eugene Baidom.
Gov.Nyesom Wike of Rivers has urged the leadership of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to go beyond issuing of statements, to taking concrete actions against attacks on the nation’s judiciary.
Wike gave the charge during the book presentation in honour of Justice Mary Peter-Odili as part of activities marking her retirement from the Supreme Court of Nigeria and her 70th Birthday celebration in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who disclosed this in a statement issued by Mr Kelvin Ebiri, his Special Assistant on Media, expressed regrets at the NBA’s lacklustre approach to social change, saying it was more of a disservice to the nation and exposed it to contempt.
He also expressed disagreement with some speakers on Thursday’s valedictory court session organised in honour of Justice Odili.
The speakers had blamed politicians for the challenges that the judiciary suffered.
The governor alleged that the Federal Government had in 2016, unleashed premeditated midnight raids on judges’ homes, including the Justices of the Supreme Court, in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Gombe, Kano, Enugu and Sokoto states.
He noted that when judges were lacking in courage and integrity, they easily gave up to improper pressure, influence and control, and the entire judiciary suffered.
Wike assured that if elected the President of Nigeria in 2023, he would work with the National Assembly to prioritise the welfare of judicial officers, including the provision of official cars and life-long accommodation “as being done in Rivers”.
Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Mary Peter Odili, noted that Nigerian judges were among the best in the world, but they were never treated right.
Justice Odili, who was also the first lady of Rivers, between 1999 and 2007, expressed delight that some of her judgments had been published for the public to assess.
Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, described Justice Odili as an epitome of humility.
Chairman of the occasion and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze Okocha, SAN, noted that Justice Odili served the country meritoriously, honourably and without blemish to her character.
Governors present at the event were Dr.Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Mr. Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Sen. Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo).