NO.DTS 0216: OKOWA CONGRATULATES OBIOR MONARCH ON 42ND CORONATION ANNIVERSARY
NO.DTS 0217: GOV OKOWA PLEDGES N5 MILLION ANNUALLY TO SUPPORT UVWIE MONARCH SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME
NO.DTS 0218: PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES OVIE OF UVWIE KINGDOM, SAYS HE IS A DYNAMIC LEADER
NO.DTS 0219: 180 INFORMATION STAFF FAIL TO DECLARE ASSETS … UKAH DIRECTS IMMEDIATE COMPLIANCE … OFFICERS BLAME JUDGES FOR NONCOMPLIANCE, APPEAL TO CJ TO EXPEDITE PROCESS
NO.DTS 0220: ALLEGED BEDC TERROR: CONSUMERS PETITION GOV OKOWA… APPEAL FOR QUICK INTERVENTION TO STEM BREAKDOWN OF LAW
NO.DTS 0221: AGRIC COMMISSIONER ASSURES FARMERS OF SUPPORT, RECEIVES NEWLY ELECTED AFAN EXCO
NO.DTS 0222: HEALTH STAKEHOLDERS MEET WITH SCHOOLS HEAD OVER MEASLES VACCINE IMPLEMENTATION
NO.DTS 0223: ENTERTAINMENT IS IMPORTANT TO GOV OKOWA- OSSAI
EDITOR: CHURCHILL OYOWE
NO.DTS 0216: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018
OKOWA CONGRATULATES OBIOR MONARCH ON 42ND CORONATION ANNIVERSARY
Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa on Thursday paid glowing tributes to the Obi of Obior Kingdom, HRM Kingsley Ugochukwu, Obi Ofuokwu III (JP) on his 42nd coronation anniversary on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
Governor Okowa noted that Obior Kingdom had remained largely peaceful on account of His Majesty’s leadership in the past forty-two years.
In a statement issued in Asaba on Friday by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, Governor Okowa, said Obi Ofuokwu’s reign had immensely benefited the people of Obior Kingdom, Delta State and indeed the Nation.
“Of remarkable note is your royal carriage which is visible in the exemplary manner you have discharged your duties and has remained a source of pride and splendor to the traditional Institution.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta State, I congratulate HRM Kingsley Ugochukwu, Obi Ofuokwu III (JP), the royal family and the entire Obior community in Aniocha North Local Government Area on the 42nd Coronation Anniversary of His Royal Majesty.
“We pray that the Almighty God will continue to give you good health and wisdom to pilot the traditional affairs of your kingdom and offer valuable contributions to the development of our dear Delta State,” he said.
NO.DTS 0217: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018
GOV OKOWA PLEDGES N5 MILLION ANNUALLY TO SUPPORT UVWIE MONARCH SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME
His Excellency, Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State has pledged the sum of 5 million naira annually during his tenure as governor of Delta State to the Abe 1 Scholarship Scheme.
The number one citizen of Delta State made the pledge in his address at the grand finale of activities marking the 10th Coronation anniversary celebration of HRM Dr. Emmanuel Ekemejewa Sideso (JP) OON Abe 1, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom in Effurun last weekend.
The governor, who obviously was responding to an appeal by the highly esteemed traditional ruler for contributions from well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to the Ovie’s scholarship scheme established 10 years ago, explained that the gesture was for the scholarship scheme to impact on more youths in Uvwie Local Government Area.
He had earlier thanked the monarch for his initiative of establishing a scholarship scheme saying that it was a right step in a right direction in the development of youths.
While noting that Uvwie was now a peaceful local government area, governor Okowa who was full of praises for his royal host for ensuring that there is peace and security in the area said that if every local government area was peaceful, then there would be no need for security meetings and that government would concentrate on developmental projects in the state, saying, “We should ensure that the environment is peaceful in order to attract investors”
Governor Okowa also gave Abe 1 a pat on the back for building peace bridges across other kingdoms, judging from the presence of a galaxy of traditional rulers who came from far and near in their numbers to grace the very impressive occasion just as he gave kudos to the Ovie of Uvwie kingdom for starting and completing a permanent Ovie of Uvwie palace project
“This is a magnificent edifice. It is a product of visionary leadership.” Governor Okowa added.
The governor called on the people of Uvwie kingdom to continue to support the Ovie for him ( Abe 1) to continue to do more for Uvwie kingdom.
The Chairman of Uvwie Local Government Council, Hon. Ramson Tega Onoyake while facilitating with Abe 1 on his 10th coronation anniversary and for starting and completing the Ovie of Uvwie palace project, remarked that the Ovie had distinguished himself as a lover of education in the establishment the Scholarship Scheme.
He then thanked the Ovie for accepting to be king of the ancient Urhobo kingdom of Uvwie.
In his goodwill message to the Uvwie monarch, the President General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Olorogun Moses Oghenerume Taiga, made available to our correspondent remarked, “Abe 1 is driven by an innate desire to bring smiles to the people, to entrench excellence and to leave a trail of legacies. As such, it is no surprise that His Royal Majesty has earned the praises, love, reverence and high regard of his Uvwie subjects, Urhobo people, Deltans, Nigerians and the world at large.
The Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom had in his welcome address listed some of his achievements since he ascended the throne 10 years ago as he also highlighted some of the challenges facing the kingdom.
While expressing appreciation to individuals and corporate bodies who contributed to the building of the permanent palace of the Ovie of Uvwie, he expressed his profound gratitude to governor Okowa for the peace and security in Uvwie and for the construction of Ugbomro Road.
High points of the occasion were the commissioning of the palace by governor Okowa and presentation of souvenirs by the traditional ruler to governor Okowa, former Governor James Ibori and other distinguished personalities at the occasion for their contributions to the positive development of Uvwie Kingdom.
NO.DTS 0218: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018
PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES OVIE OF UVWIE KINGDOM, SAYS HE IS A DYNAMIC LEADER
President Muhammad Buhari has described the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Emmanuel Sideso ABE 1 as a dynamic leader who has brought peace to the kingdom of Uvwie.
President Buhari who was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, congratulated the Ovie of Uvwie during the commissioning of the palace of the Ovie Uvwie Kingdom as part of the activities marking the 10th coronation anniversary of the monarch.
President Buhari said he was aware of the peace and development brought by the monarch to the kingdom and advice the people of the kingdom to support the Ovie for sustainable peace and development.
The Governor of Delta state, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, also commended the Ovie of Uvwie for maintaining peace in the kingdom.
The Governor who said this while commissioning the palace of the Ovie of Uvwie in Effurun said that peace had truly been restored to Uvwie Kingdom and advised that the peace should be sustained.
He said if all kingdoms were peaceful, the work of Government would be easier and thanked the Ovie of Uvwie for engaging the youths in the kingdom meaningful.
The Governor also commended the Ovie for the initiative of supporting primary and secondary pupils and students through his yearly scholarship award.
The Governor promised to support the initiative with N5 Million annually.
The Ovie in his speech commended the Governor for the support to the Uvwie Kingdom and also for constructing the Ugbomoro road that leads to the Federal University of Petroleum.
The Ovie also appreciated those who contributed to the building of the palace.
NO.DTS 0219: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018
180 INFORMATION STAFF FAIL TO DECLARE ASSETS… UKAH DIRECTS IMMEDIATE COMPLIANCE … OFFICERS BLAME JUDGES FOR NONCOMPLIANCE, APPEAL TO CJ TO EXPEDITE PROCESS
Over 180 staff in the Delta State Ministry of Information have failed to declare their assets in line with the Code of Conduct Bureau provisions.
Reacting to a letter from the Bureau, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, described the failure as unacceptable and therefore directed that the functioning Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Paul Osahor, should ensure that the affected officers comply forthwith.
“This is not acceptable. PS should ensure all comply as it is very important,” he said.
In the letter from the Bureau dated 22nd February, 2018, addressed to the Commissioner, and titled, “Non-Compliance With The Code Of Conduct Bureau/List Of Defaulters In Your Office” and endorsed by Nkadi F.I. (Mrs), it reads in part: “Your office remains one of the few offices that have refused to comply with the constitutional provision of paragraph II of part I of the fifth schedule of the 1999 Constitution.
“I am writing to request that you comply with the above provision of the Constitution to declare your assets as stipulated by law.
“Owing to the urgency attached to the request, your completed assets declaration forms should reach this office not later that one week of receipt of this letter.
“You are therefore advised to adhere strictly to the above to avoid being taken to the Code of Conduct Tribunal which is mandatory for all defaulters because we shall meet in court,”
Some staff of the Ministry, who spoke on grounds of anonymity, blamed their noncompliance on the delay in getting their forms endorsed by judges.
“Going against the law for whatever cause is no excuse”, one staff said, adding, “But the persistence delay in waiting for the judge to sign your form actually discouraged some of us and as a result discontinue the process.”
Another staff bared her mind thus: “I have my form filled and the stipulated N1,000.00 paid but I can’t find the judge at the High Court Complex Asaba to sign it and so I stopped going to the court. They should also understand that we have our own offices to man and not spend every Tuesdays and Thursdays waiting endlessly to get our forms signed.”
There are others who said that they were wrongfully included in the list of 182 names and vowed to address it with the Bureau, saying they had copies of the forms intact as proof.
They, however, appealed to the Chief Judge of Delta State to intervene by making the process of signing the forms less cumbersome.
Noncompliance with the CCB provision attracts on conviction, removal from office, disqualification from holding any public office and forfeiture to the State any property acquired in abuse of office or dishonesty.
NO.DTS 0220: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018
ALLEGED BEDC TERROR: CONSUMERS PETITION GOV OKOWA… APPEAL FOR QUICK INTERVENTION TO STEM BREAKDOWN OF LAW
Electricity consumers under the name, Association of Landlords of Block VII, Phase V, Core Area, Asaba have petitioned the State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, over what it described as unlawful and provocative utterances, threats and activities of one Mr. Edgar Ernest and the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
The petition dated February 22, 2018, and endorsed by Mr. E. W. Ureki, Hon. Justice F. Oho (JCA) and Mr. E. C. Okoro on behalf the association, said that the petition was based on the repeated defiance of BEDC to comply with the Ruling of the Asaba Forum and the Abuja directive, lamenting that the situation had caused them untold hardship and pains since June 8, 2017.
Recounting the genesis of the dispute, the petition states: “A good number of our members, who are mostly pre-paid customers of BEDC were connected at different times to the Dublina Hotels Transformer located at Joseph Ebolo Street between December 2014 and 2017 by BEDC officials in Asaba. We continued to pay our respective bills or estimate bills as read or imposed on us by the Disco to our respective accounts with the DISCO.
“On June 8, 2017, the said Distribution Company led by Mr Edgar Ernest disconnected our supply lines to Dublina Hotel Transformer, including the Dublina Hotels, in a manner that grossly violated our rights to the enjoyment of electricity, same being in breach of the extant laws and regulations of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The allegations by the Disco for disconnection was that we connected to the said Dublina Transformer illegally, that is, by ourselves, and engaged in electricity theft, which illegal connections led to unsafe
connections and loss of revenue. We were slammed with different charges as being the value of their Energy we stole. From our interactions with him, we came to the conclusion that he suspected we did not have meters and were conniving with his officials to divert monies meant for the Disco. But we immediately rebutted it by producing our bills and evidence of our vending to him.
“After the refusal of its Customer Complaints Unit to attend to our complaints/petitions (in spite of several petitions and visits to its Benin Head Office), we took our case before the Asaba Forum of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, a body, that is statutorily saddled with the responsibility of arbitration in disputes between the Disco and its consumers. Our petition dated September 1, 2017, was filed by our attorney, Mr. Kingsley Barton Ette, while the Dublina Hotel filed its petition earlier.
“On the 25th day of August 2017, the Dublina Hotel’s petition was heard and determined by the Asaba Forum. The June 8, 2017, BEDC disconnection was found wrongful and the Disco was directed to re-connect the Hotel. Following the refusal of the Disco to comply with the August 25, 2017, ruling, the Hotel escalated the case to NERC, Abuja. It was in consequence of the above that NERC Abuja vides a letter dated November 14, 2017, issued the directive to the BEDC to reconnect both the Hotel and us on or before November 18, 2017. Again, BEDC ignored the directive beyond the deadline. It only agreed to reconnect the Hotel after Mr. Edgar had intimidated the Hotel, which was then in financial difficulties, having been shut down between June and November 2017 as a result of the disconnection, to write a letter accepting to pay a percentage of the charges slammed on it by BEDC which the Asaba Forum had adjudged to be wrongful and unsubstantiated.
“On November 9, 2017, the Asaba Forum conducted a full hearing on our complaints and gave judgement in our favor. At the hearing, aside being unable to establish the alleged theft of its electricity by us or furnish the Forum the basis for the humongous sums running into several millions of naira imposed on us as claimed loss of revenue, the Disco came up with a fresh allegation of meter-tampering, compelling the Forum to afford the BEDC officials led by its Chief State Head, Mr Edgar Ernest, more days to produce the evidence of loss of revenue, while it deferred the delivery of its ruling to the 14/11/2017.
“Since BEDC could not provide proof of its allegations even after the extra days allotted it, the Forum, on the 14th of November, 2017 delivered its ruling which it had written on 9/11/2017 directing inter-alia: that the Disco re-connect us within 48 hours of service of the Ruling, and pay a penalty of N1,000.00 (One thousand naira) per day to each of the affected pre-paid meter customers. The copies of the Ruling were served on BEDC on the 17th of November, 2017 by the Asaba Forum. Mr. Edgar Ernest was also served the same day.
It is pertinent to recall Mr. Edgar’s braggadocio on the day of the ruling when he dismissed it as not being worth the paper on which it was written. He boasted that not even the NERC Abuja can compel him or BEDC, to restore our light. On the day of the hearing of our petition as in virtually all other days, Mr. Edgar Ernest exhibited so much disrespect, bordering on scorn, to the Forum members that at one point he incurred their wrath and was cautioned.
“Upon Mr. Edgar’s refusal to comply with the Ruling, as law-abiding citizens, we caused our lawyer to write the Forum a letter dated November 21, 2017, intimating it of the disobedience of its orders by the BEDC. However, the Forum indicated they could not do much on the violation of its orders save to report the matter to Abuja – which it did. Mr. Edgar and BEDC with due respect, have become terrors in not only Asaba but also in the entire Delta. Their disobedience of the three Rulings of the Asaba Forum on our re-connection constitutes a gross violation of Section 63(1) of the Electricity Power Sector Reform 2005, and 4, and 50 of the Electricity Distribution License Terms and Conditions, which stipulate that all Discos are obligated to implement the decisions of the Forum on electricity customers issues and obey directives within the time specified in the decisions or directives of the Commission.
“Days on, all that we heard from the Chief State Head of the BEDC was a demand on us to do a letter of apology to him and pay at least seventy-five percent of the so-called loss of revenue. He swore publicly at the Forum and at the few meetings we had with him at the Asaba Office of BEDC never to re-connect us, making a rambunctious claim that his DISCO has an overwhelming influence on the Commission. He specifically mentioned that they are the ones sustaining the Forum in Delta State, as well as the Consumer Complaints Unit of the NERC, at Abuja.
“We approached the NERC Abuja visiting its Complaints Units and Enforcement Unit. These visits were undertaken by one of us. It is evident that Mr. Edgar and BEDC are lawless. What has become worrisome to us now was the incessant visits of BEDC’s officials to our premises with a pick-up load of armed Policemen armed to intimidate us into submission. At a time, they claimed they are undertaking an audit. At another time we learned that they were conducting an enquiry to know if we connected to an 11-KV Transformer. On all occasions, it was a show of force as Mr. Edgar had boasted to so deal with us. This last act has given bite to his earlier boast that he would use his influence and that of his organization to use government to get us to pay his imposed fines. Yet, Mr. Edgar Ernest had collected the sum of about N600, 000.00 from a customer who never paid his bills or had any meter for more than 10 years and reconnected him to another 33KV Transformer.
“We are worried that not only is Mr. Edgar Ernest and BEDC above the law, but also employs the services of the police unlawfully to harass and intimidate us. If Your Excellency causes an inquiry to be made, you would find out that a huge number of your citizens in Asaba and beyond have been suffering similar injustice in the hands of Mr. Edgar Ernest and BEDC .
“When some of us told him that they would be ready to pay in something if he reconnects us, he promised to do so. What is strange is that at different times while we would be at our workplaces, Mr. Edgars’ men will visit our premises to connect our lines to the 11kv grid, take photographs and video recordings, then disconnect us with armed policemen. Sometimes, we will come back from work to be told that B.E.D.C. came and re-connected some of us, took photographs of the process, and thereafter return to disconnect those customers another time. To what end all these are for, we sincerely do not know.
“Our worry is that since BEDC and its Delta Chief State Head, Mr. Ernest Edgar seemed to be operating above the laws of the land and they are now using the Nigerian Police to harass, threaten and intimidate us whereas the Ruling of the Asaba Forum and the directive of the NERC Abuja, explicitly asked BEDC to pay us compensation from June 8, 2017 we were disconnected from the Dublina Hotel transformer, and re-connect us immediately, we have been pushed to resort to self-help to protect ourselves from the illegality of Mr. Edgar and his band have unleashed on us. This development, without doubt, might ignite a crisis in our peaceful community. As we speak, some younger residents in our area have threatened to confront Mr. Edgar Ernest any day they see him in the area with armed men.”
The Association called on the State Governor, as the Chief Security Officer of the State, to prevail on BEDC and its Chief Agent in Delta State, Mr. Ernest Edgar to comply with NERC Asaba Forum Ruling, reconnect their lines and desist for using security agents to harass them, as well as make the BEDC and MR Edgar to enter an undertaking to guarantee their safety as law abiding citizens.
NO.DTS 0221: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018
AGRIC COMMISSIONER ASSURES FARMERS OF SUPPORT, RECEIVES NEWLY ELECTED AFAN EXCO
Delta State farmers have been assured of full Government support in all their farming activities in the state.
The Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Austin Chikezie, gave the assurance during a courtesy call made to his office by the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Delta State Chapter.
Chief Chikezie said that the concluded election of the new executive members had proven that farmers in the State were united and prepared to partner with the Government.
While commending the association for its successful election, he described the unity displayed by the group as impressive and encouraging.
The Commissioner reiterated on the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led administration’s commitment to bring about agricultural reforms and accelerated industrialization in the State.
The Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr. Richard Asenime, thanked the Commissioner for his support toward the success of the just concluded election, adding that the association had come a long way.
He said that the Association would hit the ground running to restore all that the state had lost during the ‘dark years’ and had already commenced on generating a database of all practicing farmers in the state.
NO.DTS 0222: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018
HEALTH STAKEHOLDERS MEET WITH SCHOOLS HEAD OVER MEASLES VACCINE IMPLEMENTATION
In preparation for the measles vaccination exercise, the Ughelli North Primary Health Care Department has organized a one-day stakeholders meeting with education secretary and heads of schools to sensitize them on the need for effective implementation of the measles vaccine in schools.
Speaking during the meeting, the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (D S N O) in the local government, Mrs. Helen Erhueh, told heads of schools to sensitize pupils and parents for total complaint.
She explained that the measles vaccine was injectable and trained nurses would be used to administer the vaccines.
Mrs. Erhueh stated that the state government was much concerned about the health and well-being of the children hence concerted effort was being made by the state government for children to be vaccinated.
She added that measles was dangerous and could cause blindness and deafness in children.
Also speaking, the Health Education Officer, Mr. Daniel Atete, said that the immunization was a proactive measure to forestall outbreak of measles in the state, adding that prevention was better than cure.
Mr. Atete disclosed that Monday and Tuesday had been earmarked for the rally in all parts of Ughelli North LGA and appealed to parents to vaccinate their children who are between the ages of nine months and five years.
NO.DTS 0223: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018
ENTERTAINMENT IS IMPORTANT TO GOV OKOWA – OSSAI
Delta State Governor’s Aide on Special Duties, Media, Mr. Ossai Ovie Success said the entertainment industry in Delta State is paramount to the Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
Ossai made this known shortly after attending an entertainment show MEEKY RUNTOWN 2018 EDITION with Nigeria Rapper Erigga, Shun Babe, Music Producer Id Clef Merit and friends which took place at College Of Education, Warri.
According to Ossai, the entertainment industry in Delta State was part of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa Agenda of meaningful peacebuilding platforms aimed at political and social harmony.
He said that the two years of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa had been fruitful with success stories from the entertainment world.
“Delta State over the years has produced top entertainers across the globe and you can’t talk about entertainment without mentioning Delta State.
“In Delta State, the entertainment business is guaranteed with Peaceful Environment, returns on their investment as no entertainer has ever regretted coming into the state, this is as a result of Gov. Okowa’s meaningful peacebuilding platforms aimed at the political and social harmony of the state.
“We are proud of the Entertainment Industry in Delta State and must commend the Organiser of the MEEKY RUNTOWN 2018 MEEKY RUNTINs for the successful entertainment show.
“The state government is always ready to partner with show promoters in promoting Entertainment industry in Delta State” he said while calling on prominent Deltans to invest in the entertainment industry”, Ossai stated.