VOTERS REGISTRATION: WEDNESDAY, 28TH OF MAY 2014 DECLARED WORK FREE DAY IN BAYELSA

27/05/2014

….LOW KEY CELEBRATION FOR DEMOCRACY DAY ALSO

hsdAs part of its resolve at ensuring that, Bayelsans participate fully in all future elections in the country, the State Government has declared Wednesday, 28thof May, 2014 as a work free day.

The move is also to enable Bayelsans and other residents of the state to mobilize fully and participate actively in the ongoing voters’ registration exercise.

A Government statement has, therefore, called on persons of voting age to take advantage of the work-free day, to check their names on the voters’ register and obtain their permanent voters’ cards, while persons, who have just attained the voting age of 18 or relocated to the State to also register to vote in all future elections in the country.

The Government wishes to remind all persons of voting age not to shy away from registering, as it is their civic responsibility to participate in electing governments at all levels that, will serve their interest.

The statement also called on all opinion, community, women and youth leaders across the state to mobilize their people to take active part in the exercise, as government attaches so much importance to the participation of the people in the exercise.

Similarly, activities marking the 2014 Democracy Day in the State are going to be low keyed. This again is in line with the mood of the country, which obviously does not call for fanfare and elaborate celebrations, in view of the numerous challenges facing governments at the State and Federal levels.

Civil servants are, however, reminded that, work resumes on Friday, 30th of May, 2014.

“NOLLYWOOD IS NOW A HIGH PREMIUM AND CAPACITY BUILDING PLATFORM FOR THE TEEMING YOUTHS OF BAYELSA” ….GOV DICKSON STRESSES

hsdBayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson at the weekend restated his administration’s resolve to creating an enabling environment for private enterprises to thrive.

 He stated this at the 10th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, which held at the Dr. Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenagoa, the State capital.
 Represented by the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, he said the hosting of the event serves as a springboard and a veritable channel to showcase and promote the rich culture and investment opportunities of the State.
 The Governor described Nollywood as the high premium and capacity building platform for the teeming youths of the state, noting that, it has moved from just an entertainment industry to an organization of wealth creation, which would make life more meaningful for the people.
 Hon. Dickson, who commended the organizers of AMAA for their collaboration, stated that the dream of a new Bayelsa could only be realized with the support and partnership of the organized private sector.
 The Governor maintained that, the synergy between AMAA and the state government in the last 10 years has yielded positive results, as it has aided the partnership with the Federal Government and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO), which have provided financial and technical support to the tourism industry as well as ensured the establishment of the Under Water Research imaging Centre in the state.
 Earlier in her remarks, the Director General of the Bayelsa State Tourism Bureau, Mrs. Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown had said that, the event has provided a veritable platform to showcase the rich cultural heritage and explore the tourism potentials of the state.
 She said the symbiotic relationship between tghe State and the management of AMAA has helped to expand the frontiers of tourism and the hospitality sector of the state’s economy and commended AMAA for its consistency in charting a positive direction for the film industry in Africa.
 Speaking the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of AMAA, Ms. Peace Anyiam Osigwe, posited that in the last 10 years, through sheer hard work of the board of Jurors, most African films have ended up in film festivals across the world.
 According to her, African cinemas have survived against all odds such as poor funding and acknowledged the support of Governor Dickson and previous state governments for the honour done her and the continent’s film industry in the last 10 years.
 Meanwhile, South Africa carted away the highest number of awards in this year’s AMAA awards followed by Nigeria.
 Out of the over 25 categories in the academy awards, a Nigerian film actress, Clarion Chukwura in the film titled, Apaye won the Best Actress in a leading role, while a South African, Mthusi Magano clinched that of Best Actor in a leading role in the film, Of Good Report.
 Patience Ozorkwo in the Nigerian film, titled, ‘After The Proposal’ won the category of Best Actress in a supporting role, while Thapelo Mofekeng from South Africa emerged winner of Best Actor in a supporting role.
 A Nigerian actor, Bob Manuel Udokwu got the Special Jury Prize for his enduring contributions to the growth of the film industry.
 
Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State  

AMAA 2014: Clarion Chukwurah, Patience Ozokwor win big

amaaThe 2014 edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), which held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa Saturday on 24th May 2014 would linger in the memories of those who attended the event.
The event will be most memorable to Actress Clarion Chukwurah who won the best Actress award for her role in “Apaye“. Patience Ozokwor was also rewarded for her role in “After the Proposal” as best supporting Actress.
While receiving her award, Clarion Chukwurah dedicated it to Nigeria saying, “I dedicate this award to my country Nigeria because the role I played in Apaye was the role of a woman who despite all odds, overcame and became triumphant. So I dedicate this award to Nigeria…”
Her victory and emergence was as a result of her role in Emem Isong’s Apaye.
During the event, the brain behind the prestigious award ceremony, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, announced that she will be stepping down as the President of AMAA.
It was also a time to recognize the works of late filmmaker, Amaka Igwe, who according to Anyiam-Osigwe “died while doing something great for Nigeria.”
The best in the movie category were honoured with awards, while music stars and entertainers like Timi Dakolo, Bez, J Martins, Edge, Ketshe and comedians Buchi, Funny Bone performed at the event.
View the full list below:
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Film
Children of Troumaron – Mauritius
Potomanto – Ghana
The Forgotten Kingdom – South Africa
Of Good Report – South Africa – WINNER
Accident – Nigeria
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Director
Harrikrishna & Sharvan Anenden – Children of Troumaron (Mauritius)
Shirley Frimpong Manso – Potomanto (Ghana)
Andrew Mudge – The Forgotten Kingdom (South Africa)
Jamil X.T Quebeka – Of Good Report (South Africa) – WINNER
Teco Benson – Accident (Nigeria)
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Zengo Ngqobe – Forgotten Kingdom
Kanayo O. Kanayo – Apaye
Mothusi Magano – Of Good Report – WINNER
Joseph Benjamin – Murder At Prime Suites
Adjatey Annan – Potomanto
Majid Michel – Brothers Keeper
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Uche Nnadili – B for Boy
Linda Sokhulu – Felix
Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha – Accident
Clarion Chukwurah – Apaye – WINNER
Uche Jombo, Rodriquez, Monalisa Chinda and Daniella Okeke – Lagos Cougar
Joselyn Dumas – Northern Affair
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Desmond Elliot – Finding Mercy
Thapelo Mofekeng – Felix – WINNER
Yomi Fash-Lanso – Omo Elemosho
Aniekan Iyoho – Potomanto
Tshamano Sebe – Of Good Report
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Vinaya Sungkur – The Children of Troumaron
Patience Ozokwor – After the Proposal – WINNER
Marie Humbert – Potomanto
Barbara Soky – Brothers Keeper
Lee-Ann van Rooi – Of Good Report
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Young/Promising Actor
Evelyn Galle Ansah – Good Old Days: For the Love of AA
Petronella Tshuma – Of Good Report – WINNER
Tope Tedela – A Mile From Home
Kitty Phillips – The Children of Troumatron
Shawn Faqua – Lagos Cougar
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Child Actor
Tobe Oboli – Brothers Keeper
Lebohang Ntsane – Forgotten Kingdom – WINNER
Hlayani Junior Mabasa – Felix
AMAA 2014 Award for Best First Feature Film by a Director
Roberta Durrant – Felix
Chika Anadu – B for Boy
Andrew Mudge – Forgotten Kingdom
Harrikrishna & Sharvan Anenden – The Children of Troumaron – WINNER
Dilman Dila – Felista’s Fable
Joyce Mhango Chavula – No More Tears
AMAA 2014 Winners
Efere Ozako AMAA 2014 Award for Best Short Film
Dialemi – Gabon
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Animation
Khumba – South Africa
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Documentary
Hamu Beya – The Sand Fishers – Mali and Potraits of a Lone Farmer – Nigeria/Denmark
Ousmane Sembene AMAA 2014 Award For Best Film in an African Language
B for Boy – Nigeria
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Diaspora Short
Passage – Bahamas
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Diaspora Documentary
Through the Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People – USA
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Diaspora Feature
Kingston Paradise – Jamaica
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Production Design
A Northern Affair – Ghana
AMAA 2014 Achievement in Costume Design
Ni Sisi – Kenya
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Make-up
Once Upon A Road Trip – South Africa
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Soundtrack
Onye Ozi
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Visual Effect
A Mile From Home
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Sound
The Forgotten Kingdom
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Cinematography
The Forgotten Kingdom
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Editing
Potomanto
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Screenplay
Of Good Report
AMAA 2014 – Bayelsa State Government Endowed Award for Best Nigerian Film
Accident
MADIBA Award
Ni Sisi – Kenya
Best Film for Women Empowerment
B For Boy – Nigeria
Special Jury Award
New Horizon – Nigeria
Lifetime Achievement
Bob Manuel-Udokwu
– vanguard

“Esther`s” send forth to Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC

From L – R: Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Abuja, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rtd), an International Exhibitor, Patience Torlowei of Bayelsa State, and the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Culture & Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolor, during the send-forth ceremony of the award winning dress ‘Esther’ ( at the background) designed by Patience Torlowei, to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, at the Banquet hall, Government House, Yenagoa. Photo by Michael Owi.

From L – R: Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Abuja, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rtd), an International Exhibitor, Patience Torlowei of Bayelsa State, and the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Culture & Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolor, during the send-forth ceremony of the award winning dress ‘Esther’ ( at the background) designed by Patience Torlowei, to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, at the Banquet hall, Government House, Yenagoa.
Photo by Michael Owi.

25/05/2014

Bayelsa Deputy Governor, retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah at the weekend, showered encomiums on the designer of an award winning dress, tagged, “Lady Esther” Patience Tolorwei at the just concluded Earth Matters fashion competition show held in Washington DC in the United States.
 
The dress which is billed to be taken to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts, Washington DC has given Bayelsa State and the country as a whole a pride of place in the prestigious international museum.
 
 Speaking during a send forth/ exhibition ceremony in Yenagoa, the Deputy Governor hailed the designer of the dress, a Bayelsan for being in the vanguard for the preservation of the environment, which the design and colours of the dress depict.
 
The dress, ‘Lady Esther’ is designed in colours and characters depicting the theme of the fashion competition, “Earth Matters.”
 
According to him, Tolorwei has made not only the state, but also the country proud, especially on issues concerning the environment, which he noted, ‘means a lot to the world’.
 
He described the inspiration behind the dress as quite apt as it captures the essence of the lifestyles of the people of the Niger Delta, who have suffered the effects of environmental pollution on a daily basis for several decades.
 
In his words: “The story is told by the dress; ‘Lady Esther’. The environment means a lot to the world now. Environmental degradation in Africa, particularly in the Niger Delta area arising from activities of crude oil exploration is quite clear and are documented in some areas.
 
“The lifestyle that she has told in this simple, but complicated dress, for those who had the privilege of growing up in the rural areas, the story is quite apt. Such people will have a clear understanding of the inspiration behind the dress.”
 
 
 
The Deputy Governor used the opportunity to encourage young people to develop their innate talents, stating that the government would support the designer in grooming budding talents to develop their potentials by providing a place for training.
 
In her remarks, the Chief of staff, Government House, Yenagoa, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack disclosed that  Tolorwei was among 8 selected African designers, adding that, ‘Lady Esther, having emerged winner of the fashion competition, has earned it the right to have a permanent home in the Smithsonian Museum of African Arts in Washington DC.
 
Earlier, the designer of Lady Esther, Patience Tolorwei explained that, she named the dress after her late mother and was easily inspired, because of her early life in the rural area in Bayelsa.
 
Commenting on the significance of the dress, she explained that the colours and characters of the dress depict the pollution and destruction of the environment occasioned by crude oil exploration, mining, blood diamonds in Liberia and other parts of Africa.
 
Tolorwei, who condemned these activities as having adverse effects on the environment, said she is an ambassador of change through her artistic works to help make the world a better place.
 
Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State

INEC REGISTRATION: ELIGIBLE BAYELSANS URGED TO REGISTER

24/05/2014

                                                                                       …..GOVT PLEDGES ADEQUATE SECURITY
hsdThe Bayelsa State Government has called on the Chiefs, Community leaders and youths across the state to mobilize their people to participate actively in the ongoing issuance of permanent voter cards and the registration of new and eligible voters.
Making the call in a press statement, the Chief press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, stated that, the Government has already put all the necessary machinery in place to ensure a hitch free exercise across the state.
According to the statement, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Affairs, Chief Fred Agbedi has been mandated to ensure the effective mobilization and coordination of the exercise in the Local Government Areas, while security agencies have been put on red alert to ensure a peaceful exercise.
The statement warned persons with negative intentions to steer clear, stressing that, those planning to foment trouble in the course of the exercise will be made to face the full weight of the law.

BAYELSA HOSTS FIRST INVESTMENT FORUM

23/05/2014
 
Director General, Bayelsa State Investment Promotion Agency,hsd BIPA, Ms. Freda Murray-Bruce says, Bayelsa State is to host its first Investment and Economic Forum (BSIEF) in Yenagoa, the state capital.

Ms. Murray-Bruce, who disclosed this, while briefing newsmen in her office in Yenagoa, explained that, the event will hold between the 16th and18th of July, 2014.
 
According to her, the forum, with the theme “Unlocking Bayelsa State’s Economic Potentials: Opportunities and Challenges” will focus on wealth creation, sustainable business growth and success within the West African sub-region.

The DG stated that, to demonstrate its commitment and the importance attached to the forum, the state Government is to create an official website and email account for easy flow of information.
 
“We are very serious and committed to this programme and as a Government, we have decided to create an official website and email accounts for easy communication and dissemination of all relevant information about the forum”

Ms Murray-Bruce added that Bayelsa State Investment EconomicForum is intended to serve as a platform for Bayelsans, Nigerians and the world-at-large to convene, discuss and collaborate towards building the economy of the State as well contribute to the growth of the Nation’s economy.

Describing the forum as most timely and relevant to the ideals and philosophy of the Restoration Government in Bayelsa State, she noted that, the state was ripe for business, stressing that, her agency was committed to ensuring that, the state overcomes those challenges that had impeded the growth of indigenous businesses as well as create a sustainable economic climate for indigenesand Nigerians to make the desired progress.

The DG used the opportunity to outline some of the investment potentials of the State to include; its rich landmark that offers vast economic opportunities in fish-farming, rice-production, cassava, sugar cane, cocoa, salt mines and others, that are vital for sustainable economic growth.

She said that, the state is currently intensifying its efforts at becoming a major player in the thriving oil and gas industry, adding that, government was equally taking relevant steps to tap its clay, salt, sand, gravel, lead, zinc deposits, that are also abound in the State.


The DG pointed out that, the emergence of the MINT nations (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey), as frontier markets, offers vast opportunities for investment and also prompted the economic forum, in order to address the perceived and real challenges of investing in Nigeria, while also presenting the immense potentials of Bayelsa State as a first-rate location for investment.

The forum, Ms Murray-Bruce emphasized, is also expected to proffer solutions to the perceived challenges and how they can benefit investors, the economy of the state and offer a unique platform for researchers, policy makers, development partners and global investors to discuss investments in Nigeria with key government agencies in the light of Nation’s search for economic transformation.

The DG disclosed that BSIEF will be staged annually as a leading platform for discussions on investments in constituent local economies and with a focus on wealth creation as well as sustainable business growth in the West African sub-region.

Ms Murray-Bruce said the line up of activities for the forum include interactive sessions, through conferences and workshops as well as a gala and dinner reception.

She equally used the occasion to welcome relevant stakeholders like; entrepreneurs, banks and other financial institutions, ICT companies, petrochemical industries, mobile payments and technology based companies.

Others are Government agencies with responsibility for SME development, corporate organisations, food packaging companies, consumer products companies, NGOs and charities, Media organisations, businesses and individuals dedicated to moving Nigeria forward.

 

Bayelsa spends N10b on arrears of N18, 000 minimum wage, gratuity

23/05/2014

…. Saves N800m from staff audit


The Bayelsa state government says, it has paid a whopping N10 billion hsdas arrears of the N18,000 minimum wage as well as pensions and gratuities, it inherited from the Timipre Sylva administration.

Similarly, the government has also saved over N800 million over the past two years in savings by weeding out ghost workers from its payroll.

Chief press secretary to Governor Seriake Dickson, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who made these reveallations in a press statement, stated that, the gains recorded were a confirmation of the Governor’s believe that a worker is worthy of his wages, which informed the decision of government to plug all loopholes that constituted a drain on its purse.


“Governor Dickson believes that workers who have worked should be paid accordingly. We therefore, have no place for ghost and absentee workers,” he said.

“We have reduced the state’s monthly wage bill from over N5 billion, when we came on board, to less N4.4b for the workers, pensioners and political appointees. Thus saved over N800 million in two years,” added the spokesman.

He explained that, the current wage bill of N4.4b included over five biannual promotions for workers and their salary arrears, stressing that, the state government has spent over N6b in clearing the backlog of the N18,000 minimum wage arrears owed workers by the Sylva administration. 

“Another N4b arrears on gratuities carried over from the previous government is also being paid by this government,” remarked the CPS.

According to Mr. Iworiso-Markson, the payments by the Dickson administration, was a demonstration of the administration’s commitment to the well-being of its workers.

He condemned and dismissed as false, the allegations that, the recently introduced biometric exercise at the state and local government levels were designed to witch-hunt certain workers, noting that, it was the figment of the imagination of mischief makers, as no worker in the state has complained of any form of victimization or that his or her legitimate earnings have not been paid.

The CPS wondered why biometric exercises that are commonplace worldwide, would become a subject of controversy in Bayelsa State.

He also used the opportunity to debunk reports that, N5m was being paid to the biometrics contractor, per local government area, arguing that, the benefits of the exercise to the state, by far outweighs the cost.

His words, “as an exercise with a human face, the biometrics exercise is not blind to workers who have legitimate reasons to be off their duty posts”

He described opponents of the biometrics as members of the syndicate the exercise has blocked from feeding fat on the millions generated from ghost workers.

“We knew they would fight back. It is no longer business as usual. Having stopped the free millions they make every month, you don’t expect them to give you a hug. They are like a beheaded serpent, and they would continue to spew venom,” he declared.

Don’t swap Chibok girls with Boko Haram prisoners – Onwubiko warns Jonathan

bhAn Anambra State based social commentator, Mr. Polycarp Onwubiko has warned President Goodluck Jonathan to desist from heeding the swap deal proposed by the leader of the Boko Haram sect as a condition for the release of the abducted Chibok school girls.

Onwubiko described the demand by the insurgents as a cheap trap which the federal government must do well not to fall into.

He, however, lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for braving all odds to invite foreign military intervention in the Boko Haram debacle.

He argued that the delay in seeking foreign military intervention could not be unconnected with the propaganda by some misguided northern Moslems, who deliberately described the insurgents as gunmen and not terrorist, even as he expressed the opinion that such intervention came much later than expected.

Speaking after presenting his book titled, ‘Realistic Federal Constitution for Pragmatic Federal System of Government in Nigeria’ (2014), he warned that President Jonathan must not accept pressures from some misguided Nigerians to exchange the abducted Chibok secondary school girls and other women for the captured terrorists.

“It will be a slap on the face of the foreign powers for President Jonathan to cave in to this grossly irrational suggestion on the basis that exchange of war prisoners have been in vogue in war across the globe.

“There are justifiable facts that Boko Haram is a group of demented souls hell bent on wiping out the Christians and enthroning Islamic religion and presidency in Nigeria.

“It is propaganda being drummed up by the Boko Haram insurgents and their hidden backers. The blood hounds have no hiding place now as foreign powers have assembled their sophisticated arsenals to root them out of the country”.

Dependency Syndrome Has Stopped In Bayelsa – Dickson

So far, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state has spent two years in the administration of the state. In this interview with some reporters Governor Dickson examines his achievements, the new fiscal and infrastructural policies and the reason he has insisted on hard work instead of sharing government money to politicians in the state. OSARO OKHOMINA brings the excerpts.

Sir, how would you rate your administration in the last two years? What would you consider your greatest achievement?

When I was campaigning for the office, I knew the agenda I wanted to pursue, if elected.  And, if you read my inaugural speech, it captures the depth of the revolution I wanted to pursue.  And two years and three months down the line, nobody, who comes to Bayelsa is in any doubt about all the areas I said I was going to make a difference.

Whether it is in the area of reform of the governance process, transparency and accountability and then openness that now drives our government or is it in the area of the promises I made about turning Yenagoa into a massive construction site or is it in the promises I made in the declaration of emergency in the education sector or in the promotion and defence of the Ijaw fundamental interest, promotion of our language and culture, including the most important foundation for human development, which is security.

When I said there was going to be zero tolerance to criminality, violence and lawlessness, in all these things, in all modesty, looking back, I feel a sense of modest achievements that has been made.  Are we where we should be? No!

This is just two years and three months but we have laid a foundation and the evidence of our seriousness is there, the evidence of our focus is there, the evidence of our determination is there and when I said that with me as governor, this state and the Ijaw nation will never be the same again, I meant it.

Everybody is coming to Bayelsa, even observers, to see what is going on – within and even outside this country; people are left with no doubt that we are doing exactly what we said we were going to do.

But as I said earlier, are we exactly where we think we should be? No.  Can we do better? Clearly yes.  But are we making an effort? Have we laid a foundation for the development and greatness of our state? The answer is obvious to everybody and that is yes.

 

 In all these, the Civil Service is key to the success of any administration. How well has your administration done in terms of the development of work force through training and welfare packages?

Talking about human capacity building, we are going to look at it from two perspectives: first, the area of building capacity of our young people and building capacity of the work force.

I will take the work force first.  There is no capacity building programme that the public service has approached me to support that I have not supported. There is no programme that the head of the Civil Service, no programme that leaders of organised labour want to organise or even attend that I have not supported.

But I have tasked them that what is presently going on in the area of development of capacity within the public service is not aggressive enough, and I thought by now we should have finished the Public Service Institute.

I have charged the Chairman of Civil Service Commission as well as the Head of Service and the Labour Union to make that happen.  But unfortunately I have not seen much more in that.  A couple of months back I’ve had cause to appoint a very seasoned former civil servant, Mr. C T Ekelemate.

I understand he has some interesting options to give to me, so I look forward to meeting him but my commitment to ensure that we have a sustainable way of building capacity within the service is on the list and I’m hoping that the next May Day, with C.T. Ekelemote driving the process, I want a situation where there will be a befitting Civil Service Institute. I am not impressed with a number of things within the civil service.  Qualities of service, attitude to work and the depth of professionalism.  But let me also say we have very wonderful civil servants in this state. I’ve had the honour of intensely working close with a lot of leaders of the service and I’m very pleased.

 

Why are your being described as a stingy Governor and one that has stopped “Free Money” in the system?

That actually is one of the major areas we all need to work to address.  Yesterday in the comments I made before signing the micro finance bill into law is this dependency syndrome and it is caused by a mindset that does not take responsibility for living.

Life has its own challenges, whoever you are. You need to take challenges.  Our people must stand up to these challenges and take responsibility for their lives.  I am also a product of this environment.  I am not someone who dropped from the moon. I started life from the scratch, stayed in my community, went to primary school, went to the Government Secondary School Toru-Ebeni in my local government and was over 19 years before I went to join the Nigeria Police as a Constable, taking responsibility for my life, and taking responsibility for my future.

I’m not saying I am what I am because of my hard work. I attribute it to the mercies of God, but every human being must work hard.

Now, after us a generation has risen that does not know that there is a word in the dictionary called responsibility, that there is a word in the dictionary called “hard work.”

That when we had Bayelsa created, we started with a wrong notion that God used Sani Abacha to create this for ourselves, for the Ijaw people and our understanding is that the state must be responsible for our schools fees.

I agree with that and that is why we’ve taken that burden off the parents.  But the state cannot be responsible for your house rent or your electricity bill and whether you eat in the morning or not. In the morning state will provide breakfast for you, in the afternoon state will provide lunch, in the evening state will provide dinner for you.

The state will now buy a car for you, even marry a wife for you.  The state will now, if your vehicle brakes down, will fix it.  That’s dependency syndrome. You need to make your sacrifices today to make your tomorrow better, if you don’t, there is no one you will hold responsible for your plight.  My answer is that they must take responsibility for their lives.  I am convinced that this attitude, the prevailing attitude is wrong.  I don’t care because I must tell the people the truth.  If we have started this way, when our state started, by now we would overcome this mindless notion.

 

But the some people think differently?…

(cuts in..)Everybody must work hard, you must have something doing. The state has its own responsibility.Now you have a government that is alive to its general responsibilities, but the state cannot solve the general problems of society and solve your own. Life has a cause, you must work hard.

Now it is so bad that sometimes I hear say there is hunger in the land, I say yes, there will be hunger in the land if you don’t work.  There is no such free money to play ‘’kalo kalo’ with. All those things have stopped. Those are the things we have stopped that have made it possible to do things you all can see.

 

But some politicians expect money as patronage for their support?

If you are expecting that one government will give you one million, two million, after that one is finished, the person will come back to square one. That’s what is going on.  That is why some of our people, when they are in government; that’s when they build houses, that’s when they buy cars.

Immediately they leave, they are back to square one. So it affects even the political process, they become very vicious because to them it’s a do or die matter.

 

With the huge money allocated to security and power, there seems to be no improvement in power supply and sea piracy is on the increase. What is happening in Bayelsa?

I’m not aware that light came just because Mr. President was in town.  The report I heard is that the light situation is improving. I don’t know which part of the city you are talking about because that’s also important.  Where ever you are staying, let me just let you know that there are some of the things we do that people don’t see.  Very soon we shall be launching the programme, operation lighting up Bayelsa.  We have made huge investment, connected a lot of areas to the national grid, now up to Ofoni in Sagbama local government. We are working on the central senatorial district, connecting all these Famgbe, Angiama areas.

What about the incessant sea pirate activities?

On sea piracy and restiveness; that’s a very troubling issue, and I made a charge in the course of inaugurating the Bayelsa Volunteers and I charged the coordinators, particularly in Nembe, Brass, Southern Ijaw and some parts of Ekeremor to see how they can wipe out piracy.

No political leader, no appointee will hijack it and that’s why unlike before, we have put Bayelsa Volunteer under the command of a  serving Chief Superintendent of Police who will be in charge of the Bayelsa Volunteers and I’ve directed  them to do the recruitment with the consent  and input of the community leaders.

 

On the issue of Labour-Government relationship, what is the true situation?

You know I’m a very labour-friendly governor; we have a lot of stock for you in the public sector. There is a little misconception and today I called on the Labour leaders and all workers to ensure that they don’t allow misguided politicians, politicians who can’t stand the issues to influence them if you want to do anything come and stand on the issue. Tell us how many roads and bridges you can build. Tell us what agenda you have that is better than ours on education and on security.

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