The Bayelsa State Government has described the claim by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr. Heineken Lokpobiri, that the state government owes N800 billion as pathetic manifestation of a mind in custody of a raving hallucination.
The State Governor, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, said in a statement that the claim that the state government had borrowed N800 billion only portrayed the depth of ignorance of Lokpobiri about governance in his state.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. FIdelis Soriwei, on Wednesday and made available to Thepage, the Governor expressed shock that somebody of the status of a minister could show a demeaning lack of capacity for a simple research to arrive at the truth in the interest of the general good.
The governor described the minister’s claim as a manifestation of the peaking frustration of a diaspora politician who has alienated himself from the state and lack the capacity to actualize his political dream to govern the state.
The governor urged Bayelsans and indeed the Nigerian citizenry to discountenance the spurious claim contained in the ill-conceived publication by the minister which he said was in conflict with facts and reality, making reference to a report released by the Debt Management Office in September 2018, which provided in details the debt profile of all the states of the federation as of June 2018.
He stressed that the DMO, the Federal Agency which is the authoritative body on States and Federal government debt profile put the total debts owed by Bayelsa state at N123 billion.
The Governor said that his administration had even ensured repayment of debts incurred by Lokpobiri’s political godfather and leader, Chief Timipre Sylva, in addition to the steady execution of several big ticket projects across Bayelsa.
He said that somebody with an analytical mind would know from the reports of the DMO that Bayelsa debt as at 2007 was N27 billion representing N1.40 percent of the debts by all the state.
He posited that the debt profile of the state rose astronomically by 300 percent as the state alone had N13.0 percent of the total state debts with N162 billion from 2007 to 2012 during the locust years of Sylva.
According to him, The current figure of N123 billion representing 3.54 percent of the total debts owed by the states showed in clear times a drastic reduction of the debt burden in spite of the recession occasioned by dwindling federal allocation and the execution of high profile projects in the state.
The Governor challenged Lokpobiri to channel his energy into more productive ventures in the interest of Bayelsana who have been denied federal presence because of his lack of influence and interest in the development of his state.
He challenged Lokpobiri’ to point to projects he had attracted to Bayelsa State since his appointment as the Minister of State for Agriculture.
Governor Dickson said that it was rather shameful that a Minister of State in charge of Agriculture who had failed to attract projects to his own state would come out with spurious, allegations against a government that is repaying the loans of his godfather who unleashed misrule on Bayelsa for years.
“The attention of the Bayelsa State Government has again been drawn to a spurious publication by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr. Heineken Lokpobiri, in which he claimed that the state government had borrowed over N800,000 billion before now.
“It would have been considered sensible to ignore Lopkori because of his astonishing penchant for falsehood. However, it has become imperative to prevent this deliberate distortion of facts by unscrupulous politicians with evil intent in the interest of well meaning Bayelsans and Nigerians.
“Lokobiri’s claim that Bayelsa is owing N800 billion is a falsehood that exists in his hallucinating mind. Figures released by the DMO put Bayelsa’s debt at N123 billion.
“This figure include contractual obligations, pension and gratuities, as the major components.
“The Governor wishes to say without equivocation that Bayelsa is not for bloodthirsty cultists and criminal. Lies and bloodletting which are the strongest credential of Lokobiri cannot create access to political control in our state.
“Lokobiri has failed to take advantageous his position and supposed contacts in Abuja to attract projects to Bayelsa. He should remain silent as he lacks the moral ground to make any commend on the development of Bayelsa.”
Guest Flees As Hotel Uncovers Murdered Female Companion
The Kwara State Police Command has begun searching for a man who allegedly killed a lady in a hotel in Ilorin, the state capital, about three weeks ago.
The suspect, whom the police identified as Adegboye James of Okelowo Street, Ede, Osun State, was alleged to have murdered the lady whom he brought to the hotel on Adewole Housing Estate, Ilorin, on May 27, 2021.
The police, in a statement signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, said the address given by the suspect was fake and could not be traced.
He called on members of the public whose daughter or female relation was missing since May 28, 2021, to check the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department for possible identification of the corpse.
The statement read, “On May 28, 2021, around 7.30pm, we responded to a call from one Olalekan Anafi, the supervisor of Premium Diamond Hotel, in the Adewole area of Ilorin that on May 27, 2021, around 2pm, one Adegboye James, lodged at their hotel.
“The said Adegboye James went out and came back with a lady. The said Adegboye James later checked out of the hotel without the knowledge of any of the hotel staff.
“In the morning of the following day when nothing was heard from the room occupied by the said lodger, a spare key was used to open the room and the hotel was confronted by the dead body of the lady.
“Investigation into the incident is already at an advanced stage as ordered by the Commissioner of Police, Kwara State, CP Mohammed Bagega, to arrest the lodger whose name and address as reflected in the hotel’s logbook is fake.”
In another development, the Kwara State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps said its operatives are searching for a motorist who allegedly cut off the hand of a seven-year-old Alimanjiri student, Usman Abubakar, of Malam Aliu Adamu School, Patigi, in the Patigi Local Government Area of the state.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Babawale Afolabi, said the child was allegedly kidnapped together with his schoolmate by the unknown motorist, who promised to take them to where they would eat on Monday night.
Babawale said the suspect, who is now at large with the boy’s hand, later escaped into the bush.
He said the victim lost much blood and was treated at the Patigi General Hospital.
The PRO said the NSCDC had commenced investigation into the incident.
Buratai, Olanisakin Get Ambassadorial Postings, Buhari Silent On Other Ex- service Chiefs
Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai (rtd), has been deployed to Benin Republic. While General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin (rtd), former Chief of Defence Staff, has been appointed the head of mission to Cameroon.
At a brief ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, presented letters of credence to the ex-service chiefs.
This was disclosed by Mr Kimiebi Ebienfa, information officer of the ministry.
“The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Geoffrey Onyeama today 22 June 2021, presented Letters of Credence to the Ambassador-Designate of Nigeria to the Republic of Cameroon, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin (Retired) and the Ambassador-Designate of Nigeria to the Republic of Benin, Lt.Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai (Retired).”
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs during the brief ceremony congratulated the immediate past service chiefs on their appointment by Mr. President and called on them to deploy their wealth of experience to promote Nigeria’s interest during their tour of duty in countries of accreditation,” he said in a statement.
However, the statement was silent on the postings of the other former Service chiefs, Vice Admiral Ibok- Ette Ibas (retired) former Chief of Naval Staff; Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retired), ex-Chief of Air Staff and and Air Vice Marshal Muhammad S. Usman (Rtd), former Chief of Defense Intelligence.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on February 4, 2021, appointed the ex-service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.
The president appointed the ex-service chiefs in 2015 and refused to bow to the pressure to relieve them of their duties until they “voluntarily resigned”.
Their ambassadorial appointment sparked public outrage, with calls on the Senate to reject their nominations.
Despite the outrage, the Senate, on February 23, 2021, confirmed their nominations.
UNIJOS Hires Hunters To Secure Campus Against Bandits
The University of Jos (UNIJOS) has hired local hunters to beef up security within and around the campus, its vice-chancellor Prof. Sabastine Maimako has stated.
Maimako announced this on Tuesday during the valedictory session to mark the end of his five-year tenure.
He said: “It is no longer news that the security situation in the country is quite tenuous. This is why under my administration we made frantic efforts to ensure that all lives and property within the University are adequately protected.
“When we got a security report that we were the soft targets, we closed our hostels for almost two weeks and suspended lecturers eventually.
“Now before we could reopen, we were given a condition that we must employ the services of local hunters to help us secure our hostels, particularly at night.
“Today, this is where we are but thanks to God the Director of Peace and Conflict Studies looking at the happening, he has offered to train these hunters on the rule of engagement in their working in the University.”
He noted the institution has collaborated with various security experts for a significant drop in crimes on campus while some staff were recruited to address the deficits in security personnel.
He said his administration initiated and completed 85 projects which have been commissioned.
The VC explained out of the 75 programmes, which the institution was to run, 43 have full accreditation status while 30 programmes have interim accreditation status.
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