Rival Cult Clashes Claim Seven Lives In Bayelsa

Rival cult clashes have claimed seven lives in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital in the last three days.

Cult groups allegedly involved in the clash are the Greenlanders and Bobos cult groups.

The most recent killing happened at Punch road Amarata while one was killed at Goodnews Street, Azikoro Village, two people were killed at Sand field area, off Aritalane road while deaths wereas recorded across Swali bridge, Ebi’s Road, Biogbolo and another opposite fire service.

Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat said the Police had taken immediate step to arrest the situation.

Mr  Butswat who confirmed that no one has been arrested assured residents of adequate safety.

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Oyegun, Our Greatest Mistake, Says APC Chieftain

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Chief Perekeme Kpodo, says the greatest mistake the party ever made is having Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as its National Chairman.

Kpodo, who spoke in Yenagoa, said that the way Oyegun had carried on with the affairs of the party after the victory of APC in the elections was an indication that he contributed nothing in the electioneering that led to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He insisted that after the victory, Oyegun could not manage the success of the APC, but instead promoted selfish agenda that threw the party into avoidable crisis.

He said: “Tinubu is one of those who masterminded the victory of the APC. He is the party’s think-tank. It is public knowledge.

“He spent money, struggled and did the brainwork with some of his associates and allies.

“President Muhammadu Buhari also joined the train with his political associates. Their hard work led to the formation of this party.

“With that force, they grabbed power, coupled with the fact that people were tired of PDP because the party was deep into impunity and embezzlement of funds.

“They were collecting money without hinderance and the former President aided them.

“Everybody hoped on APC to change the impunity. APC came and won.

“However, the greatest mistake is the party chairman, Oyegun. He couldn’t manage the success of APC. He failed to handle the party the way it was expected of him.

“Oyegun went to sleep after the victory. He couldn’t engage party stakeholders. He couldn’t wade into crisis and settle disputes quickly. He failed to organise meetings, seminars and other programmes to strengthen the party.

“With what has transpired so far, Oyegun spearheaded the attempts at sidelining Tinubu. Tinubu, who did all the good jobs was sidelined from the government. Nobody heard about him. People became surprised.

“Meanwhile, Oyegun was the one trying to set confusion between Tinubu and Mr. President. He created an impression that they were quarreling.”

He advised Oyegun to stay on his political lane and admire the sagacity of Tinubu if he could not work with him, noting that trying to ignore the former Lagos State governor would spell doom for APC.

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Bayelsa Gov Signs Bill To Jail Convicted Cultists For 20 Years

The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has signed into law, the Secret Cult, Societies and Similar Activities Prohibition Amendment Law 2018.

Dickson’s signing of the bill into law yesterday would jail convicted cultists for 20 years without an option of fine.

In signing the bill, the governor noted with serious concern, the rise in cult and other related activities in the state, especially in Yenagoa and it’s environ.

Dickson urged the law enforcement agencies to enforce the law in dealing decisively with suspected cultists and their sponsors.

He explained that the amendment to the law, which had existed since May 2012, was necessitated by the urgent need to check the rise in cult activities among youths.

He stressed that the amendment would give the law enforcement agencies more powers to proactively protect lives and property of the residents.

The law empowers the police and other law enforcement agencies to conduct search in the homes of suspected cultists and sponsors, even without a warrant.

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2019: APC Cannot Win Any Election, Says Bayelsa Gov Dickson

Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, has declared that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has been weakened and it cannot win any elections.

Dickson said this in Yeneago, the state capital on Wednesday while receiving defectors from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to him,  the APC has not been able to deliver anything to Bayelsans.

However, the state is currently being governed by the PDP.

“Just a word for the other side, for those deceiving people with newspaper articles, who are not on ground; let me call on you to play according to the rules.

“If you are truly on ground and willingly to test your popularity in all elections, mobilise your people and sell what your Federal Government has done for our people. Tell our people in your communities what the federal government has brought to them. Because, what we have put on ground is in every community, it is in every local government for people to see. The young people of this state should not allow themselves to be deceived and misled,” the governor said.

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JTF Arrests Six Suspected Pipeline Vandals In Bayelsa

Soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) at the weekend arrested six suspected pipeline vandals.

The arrest was occasioned by an explosion suspected to have been instigated by vandals at the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) pipelines at Benikurukuru creek in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa state.

According to investigation, military troops attached to the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) were alerted and they stormed the site but were confronted with gunfire by the suspected vandals.

A top military source disclosed that the military troops had to call for reinforcement and they were able to battle the suspected vandals with superior weapons forcing them to escape into the creeks.

The troops were said to have followed a lead and were able to effect the arrest of six suspects who confessed to be working for the vandals and provided the useful information to security operatives on their criminal activities in the area.

“The troops also recovered used and unused packets of dynamite cables, used ammunition shells as well as live vest.
“After the preliminary interrogation of the suspects, intelligence officers have taken over the case in Yenagoa and investigation is still ongoing to ascertain the syndicate involved in the pipeline vandalisation in the area,” the source said.


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Bayelsa Govt Rules Out Competency Test For Teachers, Announces Plan To Shut Down 250 Private Schools

The Bayelsa State Government has denied plan to conduct competency test for its teachers across the state.

Commissioner for Education in the state, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, revealed this in an interview with The Punch newspaper.

Obuebite, who acknowledged the need for the retraining of teachers in the state stated that a bill for the establishment of a Teacher Retraining, Registration and Certification Board to the State House of Assembly.

His words: “The board will ensure that every year all primary and secondary school teachers are retrained. We are not going to do this for public schools alone. The exercise will also affect private schools because their pupils also write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.”

In a related development, the state government has said it would shut down 250 private schools for not measuring up to standards.

The affected private schools, according to the government, would be made public to enable the people of Bayelsa to take precautionary measures.

“Most of those schools will be denied accreditation/approval from the West Africa Examinations Council and other national examination bodies in the state.

“Those schools that will not be registered will be deregistered. Some of them have certificates of registration, but we will de-register them.

“We gave the private schools a probation period to improve and put things in order. Regretfully, most of them have not done anything to improve their status,” Obuebite stated
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Gunmen Kill Two Policemen In Bayelsa

Gunmen, suspected to be pirates, have killed two policemen in a gun duel on Tuesday, at Ogbia waterside, in the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The exchange of gunfire, which lasted for minutes, left an Assistant Superintendent of Police injured.

A police source described the exchange of gunfire as massive, noting that a G3 magazine, with 17 live cartridges, was recovered from the pirates.

The source said, “Eighteen expended cartridges were picked at the scene. The hoodlums came to steal the General Multipurpose Gun. It is a big gun mounted on a boat. But the policemen protected it with their lives.”

The Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Asuquo Amba, who confirmed the incident, said the police were combing the creeks to locate the criminals.


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Bayelsa Governor Budgets 295bn For 2018

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson has presented a total of 295.2 billion naira as budget estimates for 2018 fiscal year.

Tagged “Budget of Finishing Strong for Development, Stability and Prosperity Part One”, governor Dickson informed members of the State legislature that the amount comprised Personnel Cost of 48 billion naira, which represents 16.3 percent of the budget.

Other components of the budget estimate, Dickson noted, include Overhead Cost of 42.5billion naira, 58.4 billion naira for Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges, while Capital Expenditure was pegged at 146.6 billion naira, which is 50 percent of the proposed budget.

He further explained thus: “Revenue projections for the balanced budget include statutory allocation of 200 billion naira that is about 68 percent, Value Added Tax 8.5 billion naira and Internally Generated Revenue 24 billion naira, while Capital Receipts is put at 62.6 billion naira”.

While giving further breakdown of the budget, Governor Dickson said “the major focus of the 2018 Appropriation Bill would be on the completion of capital projects. Accordingly, 36 billion naira was earmarked for the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, which is the highest allocation, followed by the Ministry of Education with 22 billion naira”.

According to the Governor, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment; Agriculture and Natural Resources, each got 4 billion naira allocation; Sports Development was to receive an estimated 2.5 billion naira, while 2 billion naira each would go to Information and Tourism Development.

Dickson noted that the ministry of Women Affairs and Local Government Administration would receive 1.2 billion naira each; Finance, Science and Technology were allotted 1billion each, the Justice Ministry 640 million Naira and Mineral Resources 450 million naira.

He thanked the legislators for the support to the executive, which enhanced the vision of his administration to transform the State to investors haven.

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Bayelsa Police Command Probes Killing Of Cattle Breeders Boss In Bayelsa

Bayelsa Police Command is probing the killing of the Chairman of Cattle Breeders Association, Bayelsa State chapter, Alhaji Jubril Abdulkarim and three of his boys by gunmen in an attack yesterday.

According to investigations, the slain cow dealer who was popularly known as Alhaji  Abdulkarim was said to have been attacked at his abattoir located at the grazing area donated by the Bayelsa State Government along Bayelsa Palm Road.

Eye-witnesses said Jubril who was the biggest supplier of cows in Bayelsa and his boys were sitting under a tree and chatting when the gunmen struck.

 In the ensuing pandemonium, the gunmen also gunned down three of Jubril’s boys before escaping in a Black Mazda car they came with.

“The gunmen invaded the place this afternoon and shot him. He is a household name because he is the biggest supplier of cows in Bayelsa. The gunmen also killed three of his boys before they escaped. It is a sad development. We are calling on the police to thoroughly investigate this incident and bring those involved to book,” an eye-witness said.

 The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Asinim Butwats, who confirmed the incident, said that the police were on top on the situation.

 Butwats who said the police were investigating reports of crisis within the association assured that they would ensure the culprits were caught.

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‘The Only Thing That Will Make Me Sleep Well Is To Ensure PDP Comes Back To Power,’ Says Jonathan

Immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, has said he is working with other stakeholders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ensure that the party regains the presidential seat in 2019.

Jonathan said this during a courtesy call on him by Chief Olabode George and his campaign team in his country home in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, on Tuesday.

Taking responsibility for the party’s defeat in the 2015 elections, President Jonathan noted that it was also his responsibility to ensure the party transform to a strong political platform to win the next elections.

His words: “Whether I like it or not, I must take responsibility for the defeat because I led the party to the election. The only thing that will make me sleep well is to ensure that PDP comes back to power.”  

Jonathan said the party must begin to take the right steps, in the right direction, to regain the confidence of the electorate and ensure mistakes of the past were not be repeated.

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11 Quarantined As Monkeypox Hits Bayelsa

Bayelsa State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, has announced the outbreak of monkeypox in different communities in the state.

Announcing this on Wednesday, Etebu stated that 11 persons, including a medical doctor, had been placed on surveillance in Yenagoa.

He described monkeypox as a viral illness caused by a group of viruses that include chickenpox and smallpox.

He listed the symptoms of monkeypox to include “severe headache, fever, back pain, among others.”

Speaking on the reported cases, Etebu said “We noticed the first index case from Agbura where somebody was purported to have killed and eaten a monkey and after that the people who are neighbours and families started developing the rashes.”

Etebu said that samples of the virus had been sent to the World Health Organisation laboratory in Dakar for confirmation.

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Ohaneze Cancels 2017 Igbo-Day Celebration

The Bayelsa State Chapter of the Igbo socio-cultural group, ‘Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo’ has cancelled  the 2017 “Igbo Day” Celebration initially scheduled for September the 29 in the state.

At a news conference in Yenagoa, the state capital, members of the pan Igbo social – cultural group say the decision was informed by recent disturbances in the South-East which call for prayers for peace in Nigeria.

Recall that there were clashes between the Nigerian Army and members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra in Aba and Umuahia States. This according to report, did not go down well with Igbo kinsmen in Bayelsa State.

The igbo leaders however called on their kinsmen to pray fervently for peace in Nigeria.

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