Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has declined assent to the bill seeking life pension for former lawmakers from the state as proposed and passed by the state House of Assembly last week.
The controversial bill has attracted condemnation from Bayelsans, including civil society groups who were planning a showdown with the lawmakers.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who said this on Monday, added that the governor had conveyed his decision to decline assent to the bill in a letter to the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on Monday.
He said the governor held consultations with the Assembly members in Toru-Orua, where he explained his reason for rejecting the bill to the lawmakers.
Iworiso-Markson quoted the governor as having said that the bill was inconsistent with Section 124 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
Dickson said he was of the view that the state Assembly lacked the powers to expand the categories of public servants who should be entitled to pension.
He stressed that he had to withhold assent to the bill because the state, which was bedevilled with a lot of challenges in spite of its low Internally Generated Revenue base and unstable earnings from the oil economy, was the only state in Nigeria to come up with such a bill.
The governor stressed that he was guided in the decision by the principle that government should not be for a select privileged few in the society.
He said the lawmakers and indeed the Nigerian populace would attest to the fact that all the decisions of his administration were guided by the urge “to protect public interest and promote the general good.”
Dickson said, “The provisions of this bill granting pension to members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and the extension of same to former members of the Assembly and Bayelsa indigenes who served in the old Rivers State House of Assembly, is inconsistent with Section 124 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“I am not convinced about the legality of this bill which seeks to expand the categories of persons entitled to pension. While I agree that the Assembly can adjust the quantum of pension payable to persons entitled to pension, I am not convinced that the House has powers to add to the categories of pensionable public officers.
“Evidently, there is no record of any other state in this country that has expanded the categories of pensionable public officers to include lawmakers. I do not agree that Bayelsa, which is coping with all the myriads of issues and challenges, with our low Internally Generated Revenue base and the unpredictable oil economy, should be the first to initiate this.
“Honourable members of this Assembly, Bayelsans and other Nigerians following our progress as a government would clearly attest to the fact that my entire public service, actions and decisions are marked by what is in the public interest, particularly the interest of the vulnerable, ordinary people. It is in the service of this category of people that in the last seven years, I have, in an unprecedented manner, which only history will record and reward, extended the frontiers of the benefits of purposeful democratic governance.
“It is my philosophy that government should not be for a select few. In the last seven years, my actions and decisions, which have sometimes elicited opposition from the elite who have been feeding fat on the resources of our state, have been marked by this singular disposition of mine.
“And I do not intend at this point to abandon that. Rather, I intend to do more to consolidate on the policies and actions which have been taken to protect the vulnerable. Therefore, I am unable to assent to this bill which in my view aims to expand and consolidate the class interest of a privileged few.”
The governor said the quest to protect the vulnerable against the privileged few inspired the populist programmes of his administration.
These, he said, included the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme with over 150, 000 beneficiaries, the Education Trust Fund, local and foreign scholarship programmes, empowerment schemes, support for the aged, the most vulnerable, employment, public housing and a number of other social intervention programmes.
He commended the leadership of the House for the healthy relationship with the executive and the high level of productivity as shown by the high number of bills and motions passed during the period.
Dickson said notwithstanding his decision to decline assent to the bill, he still “holds the Assembly in very high esteem.”
The governor also noted that he had to set up a committee on the contributory pension scheme to make it workable so that interested assembly members and other appointees at the state and local government levels could take advantage of it.
We Care About You, Adron Homes Fetes Partners, Clients on Valentine’s Day
Premier real estate firm, Adron Homes has celebrated its teeming clients, partners and well wishers on Valentine’s Day, stressing how much they care.
A statement released by management team, and made available to this medium, reveals that the company does not take for granted all the supports received from clients and partners alike, adding that on a day like this, spreading love and compassion should be the paramount duty of everyone.
The message in full:
“As Valentine’s Day dawns upon us, we are reminded of the profound impact that love and empathy can have on our lives and the communities we serve. At Adron Homes, we believe in the transformative power of these values, and we are committed to fostering a culture of compassion and care in everything we do.
“To our cherished clients: Your trust and support are the driving force behind our success, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve you. As we continue to work together, let us build relationships rooted in mutual respect, understanding, and empathy. Your satisfaction and well-being are our top priorities, and we are committed to going above and beyond to exceed your expectations.
“To our esteemed partners: Your collaboration is instrumental to our growth and success, and we appreciate the trust you have placed in us. Let us continue to work hand in hand, guided by a shared commitment to excellence and a genuine concern for each other’s success. Together, we can achieve great things and make a lasting impact in our industry and beyond.
“On this special day, let us all strive to be agents of love and empathy, spreading kindness and compassion wherever we go. Together, we can create a world that is more caring, more connected, and more compassionate.
“Happy Valentine’s Day to each and every one of you. May your hearts be filled with love, and may you continue to inspire others with your acts of kindness and empathy.”
With warm regards,
Building Cities ,Communities And Homes
LovableVibes: Instant Messaging App Launched in Nigeria
A new secured social media messaging app known as LovableVibes has been launched in Nigeria, to facilitate the sharing of news, photos, and videos as well as market goods and services to the teeming clickers around the globe.
Developed by Austin Daniels, a.k.a Lovable, a Nigerian, boasted that LovableVibes is a Secure Messenger whose main focus is to be the number one privacy and secure communication system for users that value their privacy.
“Nigerians heavily relied on the foreign messaging app that serves no local content hence the zeal to create LovableVibes; something that Africans would be proud to declare as theirs. Since countries like China, Japan, Korea, and India managed to put their apps together, Africa must be developed by Africans, to measure at par with the international community positioned to bridge that gap.
“We would be introducing more features to make sure user data is protected. We can hide and lock a single chat. The files are not stored in the user’s phone but in bucket cloud storage. The files are 100% safe, and even if your phone is stolen, you don’t need to panic. All you need to do is log in to a new phone and your files are back automatically from where you stopped.
“You may want to ask, are Google Cloud buckets encrypted? Yes, cloud storage always encrypts your data on the server side, before it is written to disk. We don’t see users’ chats or files. That’s why our energy is to provide the user’s privacy at all costs.”
According to Theresa Moses, the app developer’s spokesperson, “the social media app was created out of a need for a Nigerian owned and indigenous social media platform; where Nigerians can have guaranteed communications, with the utmost security and launched on April 18th, 2023 to protect users’ information and privacy.”
On the unique features of the app, she said it is end-to-end encrypted, enables people to connect in communities, allows users to share pictures, video, and audio calls, 500 member group chat, which will be upgraded to 1,000, stickers and files exchange up to 60MB and grow the business to take over WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and others.
“We have the admin panel for the team to use. They can’t see any posts and other things even the user’s chat conversations. We cannot delete videos, and pictures if there is a report on them. Accounts can also be deleted while users’ pages can be modified. Misinformation and fake news can be handled and taken down when users report issues and we confirm it as fake. The same goes for gory contents”.
LovableVibes is currently trending in Nigeria and other countries such as the United Kingdom, India, Germany, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Italy, Congo, Bahamas etc. The application could be downloaded on Google Play and App Store for both Android and Apple phones.
Android Users: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lovablevibes.vibes
iPhone Users: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/lovablevibes/id6447699262
LovableVibes Features includes: Unique chat design, Clean UI/UX, See Device Contacts, One-to-One Chat, Chat without Saving number, User status (Online, Last seen, is typing), Video Calling, Audio Calling, Call Logs (with Call duration), See Unseen Message Count, Forward Text Messages, Share any kind of Documents, Video and Images, Share Audio Recording, Share Contacts, Share Current Location, Share GIF (from GIPHY Gallery), Download Media, Change wallpaper, Play Video, Hide and single chat, Block Chat, End-to-End Encryption (Only Sender and Recipient can read the text messages in One-to-One Chat. Even Admin cannot read them), Profile Page (Change Avatar, Status, Display name), Push Notifications (on new message, calls).
All Notifications via chat, Status Stories, Group Chat, User Profile View, Video type Calling Screen, Progress Indicator for Media Sending, Delete for Me/Everyone, See All Joined Users, Reply chat, Forward chat, Share Through App, Broadcast feature integrated too and Notification can also be seen on smart watches. More updates and features are coming soon as we are going to change the concept of status view and more interface patterns.
IPOB: Nnamdi Kanu’s Family Fights over Money, Control of Bank Accounts
The crisis rocking the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has taken a more dramatic dimension as close relations of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, are at loggerheads over foreign bank accounts operated by the group, according to Politics Nigeria.
This newspaper, in the previous weeks, reported the multiple divisive crises that struck the group following the arrest and continued detention of Kanu. One of the problems facing the group is the issuing of unauthorised statements by members of Kanu’s family, which caused a sharp divide among IPOB members globally.
But more recently, the group is mired in deep problems over access to funds and change of signatories to its foreign bank accounts operated in different countries.
Central in this furore are members of Kanu’s family who are beginning to fight each other over the control of the accounts. This, if not resolved, may plunge the already divided group into complete chaos, sources, including a top-ranking IPOB chief, familiar with the inner workings of the group revealed to our correspondent.
Since the group runs on donations from its supporters in diaspora, it is believed that this crisis can put it in a financial situation that may halt operations of all IPOB branches.
Worries from detention
Kanu, since his arrest and repatriation back to Nigeria in 2021, has only had access to the group’s funds through his proxies and Directorate of States (DOS). The DOS is saddled with responsibility of catering for IPOB interests in various countries spread across Europe, Africa, Asia and other continents.
However, in recent times most of the foreign accounts have been frozen due to one issue or the other. Since Kanu is facing treasonable felony charges and still in detention, all of these concerns could not be properly treated.
Instead, the IPOB leader gives instructions from detention through his lawyers and other senior members of the group.
German Account Saga
During a recent meeting with Kanu, one of the group’s members complained that they are having issues with the new IPOB bank account in Germany. According to our source, a German Court restricted access to the account due to disagreement in replacing the signatory to the account.
The member explained that when they wanted to replace Collins Chinedu, a former national coordinator of IPOB in Germany, with Abraham Ogbonnaya, trouble ensued.
The move was fiercely resisted as the IPOB directorate of States(DOS) led by Chika Edoziem, quickly issued a public disclaimer describing Ogbonnaya as a criminal.
In fact, in the heat of the crisis in Germany, Kanu’s younger brother, Kingsley Kanu, was accused of imposing Ogbonnaya as the new National Coordinator for Germany with the sole intent to cause division within the existing structure. Edoziem, in a letter to the bank insisted that Chinedu, being the one whose name is in their constitution, should be the one to operate the bank account.
Meanwhile, as a way of resolving the conflict, Kanu’s lawyer, Ejimakor then sought his (Kanu’s) approval for funds to be paid into their national account instead.
He disclosed that Washington could raise $5000, Baltimore $10,000, New Jersey $20,000 and New York $20,000.
Our source stated: “Kanu expressed displeasure over the inability to access bank accounts in Germany and Italy.”
“Ejimakor explained that the issues were caused by ongoing battle over change of Signatories to the accounts.”
“He told Kanu that the account in Germany was blocked based on a memo from Kingsley seeking to change the signatories to the account and that Kingsley claimed that he (Nnamdi) authorised the memo, Kanu denied giving such authorisation.”
Nnenna Kanu and Emmanuel Kanu
While the control of funds in the Italian and German branches of the IPOB is still subject of controversy, two members of Kanu’s family are fighting over the money in the United States.
Nnenna Kanu and Emmanuel Kanu, two siblings of the IPOB leader, want the control of IPOB’s bank account in the US. Recently, Nnenna did a live broadcast where she publicly insulted Emmanuel and accused him of interfering with her duties.
In a rebuttal, Emmanuel claimed that he is acting on the orders of their elder brother(Nnamdi).
Sources told POLITICS NIGERIA that Nnamdi Kanu, on getting whiff of the development, was miffed that his younger sister, Nnenna, has been flouting his directives regarding IPOB bank accounts in the US.
He also admitted detailing Emmanuel to ensure Nnenna complies with his directives which may have led to the disagreement.
IPOB DOS bars payments to German Account
In a brash response to the power tussle over account control, the IPOB directorate of State (DOS) in a recent press statement, called on all its members to desist from paying donations/funds into the group’s German account.
The statement signed by Edoziem in February read in part;
“All IPOB family members worldwide are therefore directed to stop making payments into the IPOB account in Germany because any payment made will be returned to the payee and this will direct unnecessary attention to the family.”
“Furthermore, please note that until the Directorate ascertain what actually happened to that account and why it was closed, all IPOB family units around the world are hereby directed to desist from sending their monthly dues or any funds”.
Source: Politics Nigeria