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Gov. Dickson offers automatic employment to 335 professionals

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Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has offered automatic employment to 336 professionals from various disciplines including 102 PhD holders.

A breakdown of the 336 beneficiaries showed that 102 PhD holders drawn from the state and other Ijaw-speaking communities across the country were absorbed as lecturers into the state-owned tertiary institutions.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, said Dickson presented employment letters to the beneficiaries on Saturday.

The governor named other beneficiaries as 60 medical doctors, 54 master’s degree holders and 119 first class graduates.

Dickson said his administration was working hard to lay a solid foundation for a flourishing knowledge-based economy of the future for the state.

He said: “It takes a number of years for this kind of investment to mature. We are building schools and capacities and we want a situation whereby after 20 years or so we want to see top qualified Bayelsa professors in every field.”

“We are going to create a fund to take care of publications for all those who have PhD to enable them produce more PhD holders.

“In the last seven years, we have been building educational infrastructure, awarding scholarships and employing. There is no doubt that we have done our duty but the job of consolidating the gains lies on you. We expect the 102 PhD holders to become professors in the next couple of years.

“If this policy is followed through year after year, in the nearest future Bayelsa will become the centre of excellence.”

In his remarks, Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of the Special Employment Committee, Kemela Okara, expressed conviction that the 336 newly employed workers would add value and increase productivity in the state workforce.

Also, the Commissioner for Education, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite saluted the efforts of Governor Dickson in keeping to his promise in turning around the education sector.

Obuebite who is also the Vice Chairman of the Special Employment Committee, said the feat achieved in the education sector under the leadership of Governor Dickson was exemplary and indeed inspiring.

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POLITICS

Release political prisoners, Secondus tells Buhari

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The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to release “political prisoners”.

Addressing reporters yesterday on the side-line of a visit to Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri at the Government House in Yola, Secondus said there should be no room for political prisoners in a democracy.

He said: “We ask President Buhari to release political prisoners. It is not done in any political dispensation. What we are seeing today is as if we are in a military era. He should urgently release political prisoners and allow a political atmosphere and a country where there is freedom of speech.”

Urging the media to take the lead in the campaign for free speech, Secondus added: “I want to call on journalists and media managers not to sit on the fence. They can’t just sit and watch the country sliding. They played a major role in the past, removing the country from the hands of the military. They have tempered with some among them. It is time for them to join hands with the good people of Nigeria to stand on the path of truth, on the path of democracy.”

The PDP National Chairman stressed that freedom of conscience must be allowed in a political environment.

He alluded to the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the Africa Action Congress (AAC) in the last election and Convener of the #RevolutionNowMovement.

Secondus said: “The President must release political prisoners, particularly the presidential candidate of AAC, Sowore.”

The PDP chieftain, who said his party’s leadership was in Adamawa State to commiserate with Fintiri on the death of his father, enjoined the people to support the governor to record high performance.

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POLITICS

BMO to Atiku: you, not Buhari, impoverished Nigerians

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Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is directly responsible for the pauperisation of millions of Nigerians as head of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said on Tuesday.

It said this contradicted his claims that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration ruined the country.

In a statement by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO noted that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election is again pushing a false narrative to fool undiscerning Nigerians.

“We are not surprised that the former Vice-President has jumped on a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report issued last month to take a swipe at a man he clearly considers as his nemesis.

“The UN body had noted that slightly over 98 million Nigerians were living in multi-dimensional poverty, but, as usual, the PDP presidential candidate did not fully grasp the details before launching an attack on President Buhari,” the statement said.

It added: “The report indicated that about 46 per cent of Nigerians were poor as at today, but Atiku Abubakar needs to be reminded that   60.9 per cent of Nigerians, or 100 million people, were living below the poverty threshold in 2010, and 120 million in 2012, according to the World Bank, which is the body that provides a global poverty headcount.

“Interestingly, the period the country had an exponential spike in the number of people living below $1 a day was during the 16 unbroken years that the former Vice-President’s party held sway in Nigeria.”

BMO also noted that the PDP stalwart created the pathway for Nigeria’s struggle with poverty alongside his then principal, Olusegun Obasanjo, with the less than transparent privatisation he presided over.

“It is not a secret that Alhaji Abubakar was the executor-in-chief of what has gone down in the annals of the nation as a major heist of the nation’s assets, an action that later pitched him against former President Obasanjo.

“He literally sold off several government-owned enterprises for less than their market values to his cronies to strip and cannibalise, and in the process, tens of thousands of workers were denied their livelihood and laid off without benefits. It is also on record that he kept one of the prized assets (Onne Port) to himself.

“Or, does he also have to be reminded of the period when the nation’s Education sector virtually collapsed but that was when he and former President Obasanjo established high profile private secondary and tertiary institutions?

“So, if Atiku is searching for the person who plunged Nigerians into multi-dimensional poverty, he should just look into the nearest mirror, or maybe he could tell us how many people he drove into penury and how many had their pensions paid, even after the terminal date of the Obasanjo administration.

“In case he missed the latest news, the Buhari administration, through its Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), has paid the outstanding severance package of over 1,500 verified eligible former workers and next-of-kin of deceased former workers of Savannah Sugar Company.

“The former Vice-President cannot say he has forgotten that these workers were not paid their benefits when they were disengaged in 2002, after the company was privatised.

“This is just one out of many examples of how President Buhari has been cleaning up the mess left by Atiku and his party’s leaders, who have not shown any form of remorse but are rather prepared to also insult the sensibilities of Nigerians.”

The BMO urged the former Vice-President to heed the advice of his former boss and seek proper forgiveness from Nigerians for the harm he did the country.

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President Buhari to inaugurate ministers August 21

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The 43 ministers-designate are to be inaugurated on Agust 21 by President Muhammadu Buhari, a statement by Babatunde Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs Office in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Ahead of their inauguration, ministers-designate are scheduled to undergo a two-day induction retreat at the State House Conference Room, Presidential Villa beginning from August 19.

The statement reads: “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, invites all ministers-designate, head of the civil service of the federation, federal permanent secretaries and top government functionaries (specifically invited) to a two-day induction retreat to be presided over by his excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the retreat earlier publicised has been rescheduled.”

The objectives of the retreat, he said, include:

  • build a strong platform for synergy and teamwork, sensitise appointees on the status of the implementation of policies, programmes and projects of government from 2015 till date
  • acquaint the appointees with the roadmap for delivery of government’s priorities and next level agenda (2019-2023).
  • deepen the understanding of participants on best practices in conducting government business.

The statement said attendance at both events is mandatory and strictly by invitation.

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