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Flood Ravages Bayelsa, Exhumes Corpses From Submerged Cemeteries



It has been tales of shock, fear and tears as the disastrous flood which has ravaged no fewer than 31 states in the country in recent time has served the people of Azikoro town in Bayelsa State and the world at large, a horrific photographic menu of scores of corpses from submerged cemeteries floating on streets in the state capital.


While many communities and journalists have continued to visit the scene of horror to bear witness to the tragedy, families whose loved ones were buried at the affected cemeteries have continued to throng the various streets in the state capital out of curiosity to have a glimpse of the decomposing dead bodies dragged from their supposed place of perfect rest despite the stench.

This disastrous flooding in the country has no doubt, left the nation crippled with over 600 people being reported dead and millions displaced in what many have tagged as the worst flooding experienced in a decade. Lives and property across the country, especially in the coastal states like Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and many other states have been under serious threats owing largely to the ravaging floods that have left scores either dead or homeless, following the failure of government at all levels to take preventive measures.

In Bayelsa State for instance, the disaster has not only isolated it from neighbouring states but destroyed thousands of hectares of farmland and heightened fears of a disruption of food supply in the state and the nation at large.


To the people of Azikoro town and residents of Aeroplane road in Yenagoa, where the major cemetery is located, the gory sight of corpses on the streets remains a nightmare only akin to what they experienced during Nigeria’s civil war when people could wake up early in the morning only to find a large number of dead bodies after an encounter between the Nigerian and Biafran soldiers.

One may be forced to conclude that the devastating flood descended more on Bayelsa State as it sacked no fewer than 300 communities, submerged houses, major roads, bridges, educational institutions, hospitals, banks, and killed several persons including teenagers.

Even the country home of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was not spared as major parts of his community, Otuoke in Ogbia local government area is said to be the most affected by flood disasters.


When LEADERSHIP Weekend visited some affected communities, demoralized and confused looking residents were seen using canoes to access their homes following the overflow of River Orashi, Taylor and Epie creeks, situated in Rivers and Bayelsa States, respectively.

A resident of the community, Mr Emmanuel Akagbe who lamented that the floating corpses had become a recurring development during flood added that relocation of the cemetery is long overdue. He alleged that corpses at the cemetery were often buried in shallow graves of about 3 feet, rather than the recommended six feet prescribed by law. The morgues at Bomadi General Hospital and Olodiama were not spared either.

Reacting to the ugly development, the state commissioner for Environment and chairman of Bayelsa Flood Committee, Iselema Gbaranbiri, confirmed that three floating corpses were recovered and reburied with the environment properly fumigated.


No doubt, the restrictions of inter-state movement of goods and services by the ravaging floods across Nigeria led to sudden hike in prices of staple food and petroleum products in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. The affected items are sachet water which residents depend on due to absence of potable water, grains and food condiments, among others.

When this reporter embarked on a market survey in some parts of the state, it was discovered that the residents are battling over 100 per cent increase in the prices of garri, yam, tomatoes and other food items.


At the popular Swali and Tombia market, it was learnt that a four-litre plastic container measure of garri which initially sold for N1,000 before the flood in Yenagoa, now sells for N2,000 while a four-litre plastic container measure of rice which sold for N2,200, now sells for N4,000. Five balls of tomatoes have also risen from N200 to N700 and a bulb of onion that used to sell for N20 now sells for N100.

Sadly, the East-West road connecting over six states in the Niger Delta has been submerged with many passengers stranded on the highway, just as many communities in Bayelsa. The road leading to the two universities, the African University, Torouwa and the Federal University, Otouke was cut off from the main road. Also the road leading to the state-owned university, the Niger Delta University (NDU) and the state-owned international Airport also cut off, just as the University Teaching Hospital at Okolobiri, had been shut down.

The situation, LEADERSHIP Weekend reports that this unplanned situation also led to the hike in price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Yenagoa, a development which has further caused transportation fare to skyrocket.


A resident, Ekenwa Samuel lamented that tricycles now charge N200 for a distance that used to cost N50, while a litre of PMS now sells for N800.

Worried by the overwhelming impact the flooding has posed on Bayelsans’, the state governor, Senator Douye Diri, urged the federal government to declare a national emergency on the rampaging flood that has devastated lives and properties in the state and others in the country.


Governor Diri has however, taken steps to halt the harsh economic trend in the state as he has held separate meetings with the state chapters of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Petroleum Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), and market union leaders, in Government House, Yenagoa, recently.

Diri, in a statement by his chief press secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, announced the setting up of two committees comprising government officials, marketers and traders respectively.


He said the meetings were convened to address the arbitrary increase in the price of petroleum products and goods in the state and cautioned against plunging the state into another crisis while it is grappling with the flooding challenges.

He explained that the petroleum committee was to seek all means to make petroleum products, including cooking gas, available either by road or through the state’s maritime domain.


According to him, the government would bear the cost of security and transportation of the product in barges while the marketers will pay for the product.


Meanwhile, former governor of Bayelsa State and Senator representing Bayelsa West, Henry Seriake Dickson and his friends have raised N21 Million to support families ravaged by the current flood waves in the state

Data from the government shows that this year’s floods are the country’s worst in a decade. They’ve killed more than 600 people, displaced 1.4 million residents and destroyed 89,348 houses and 70,566 hectares of farmland and crops in states like Bayelsa, Anambra, Delta, Rivers, Cross River, Adamawa, Gombe, Jigawa, parts of Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Benue and Nasarawa.


While Senator Dickson donated over N15 million, his friends raised N11 million to support the flood victims under the platform of Friends of Senator Dickson.

Senator Dickson, who conveyed his appreciation to the benevolent donors most of whom prefer to be anonymous, also expressed the gratitude of the beneficiaries. He reiterated his appeal to public spirited individuals, NGOs, corporations, to come to the rescue of displaced and suffering flood victims.


Dickson said in a statement on Friday that he appreciated the Initiative of his friends who came together to start this humanitarian drive.

According to him, a special account for the foundation has been opened into which the donations from his friend are kept and into which further donations can be made. Dickson also reiterated the policy of the foundation to record and publish the list of all donors as well as the beneficiaries for purposes of transparency.

However, he said that where there are requests for anonymity, the foundation will have no option than to respect their preference.


He added that donation is not only in cash but also in kind as the foundation would make arrangements to receive all such donations in kind such as relief materials of every description.

He said, “Following the announcement of my donation to flood victims in Bayelsa State, some of my friends called to support and as of now they have raised eleven million naira. A number of them preferred to be anonymous. However, we will send a letter from the foundation to express my gratitude and that of our people to them.”


Dickson had made donations running into millions of naira to alleviate the plight of flood victims in Bayelsa State.


The Senator announced a donation of N400,000 naira to each of the wards in the Sagbama Ekeremor Senatorial District on Wednesday in Abuja.

Dickson, a former two-term governor of the state also announced a donation of N5 million to those affected by the flood in Yenagoa, the state capital.

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Ex-CGS Oladipo Diya Dies At 79




Lt. General Oladipo Diya, former Chief of General Staff under the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, is dead.


His death was announced in a statement by his son, Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, on Sunday morning.


It read, “On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad; we announce the passing on to glory of our dear husband, father, grandfather, brother, Lt-General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (rtd) GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, mni.


“Our dear Daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023. Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.”

The former Chief of General Staff was born on April 3, 1944 at Odogbolu in Ogun State.


Diya joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.


He was appointed Chief of General Staff in 1993 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994. As Chief of the General Staff, he was second in command and the de facto vice president of Nigeria under Abacha from 1994.

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Breaking: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ Trafficking In The U.K.




A former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, have been found guilty of organ trafficking in the United Kingdom.


The duo alongside a medical doctor, Dr. Obinna Obeta, were found guilty of facilitating the travel of a young man to Britain with a view to his exploitation after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey.


They criminally conspired to bring the 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney, the jury found on Thursday.


The judge, Justice Jeremy Johnson, will pass a sentence at a later date, The Guardian UK reports.


Ekweremadu, Beatrice, their daughter, Sonia, and Obeta had been standing trial at the Old Bailey for organ trafficking.


Their conviction on Thursday was the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act.


Ekweremadu and his wife were last year arrested in the United Kingdom for allegedly trafficking a young man into the country to harvest his kidney.

The young man was said to have been falsely presented as Sonia’s cousin in a failed bid to persuade doctors to carry out an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

The young man was said to have been offered an illegal reward to become a donor for Sonia after kidney disease forced her to drop out of a master’s degree in film at Newcastle University.


The prosecutor, Hugh Davies KC, told the court the Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the man and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward”.


He said they entered an “emotionally cold commercial transaction” with the man, The Guardian UK report added.


The behaviour of Ekweremadu showed “entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy”, Davies told the jury.


He said Ekweremadu “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact”.


Davies added, “What he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia, it was exploitation, it was criminal. It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter. Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty.”

On March 14, it was reported that Beatrice denied involvement in the search for an organ donor for their ailing daughter, Sonia.


It was also reported that Ekweremadu claimed he involved the young man after he was advised by his doctor against seeking a kidney donor from among his family members.

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Enugu Guber: INEC Suspends Nkanu East As Opposition Parties Cry Foul




The State Collation Officer for the governorship election in Enugu State, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, has suspended collation of results emanating from Nkanu East Council of the state, following allegation of non-usage of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the area during the election.

The Collation Officer for the council, Ogbene Nnaemeka, had presented the results of the area with the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Mbah, scoring 30,350 votes to beat his Labour Party (LP), counterpart, Chijioke Edeoga, who got 1,855 votes.


However, the LP agent, Dr. Eugene Edeoga, and that of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ndubuisi Enechionye, as well as others, drew the attention of the Collation Officer and the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu.Edeoga said: “We have serious and fundamental objections to results being announced. Nkanu East did not use BVAS.

“INEC officers claimed the BVAS did not work, and we know what the Electoral Act provides regarding non-usage of BVAS. So, we are bringing this to your notice for your action.”


The APGA agent also said: “In the Community Primary School, Owo, Nkanu East, where the PDP candidate comes from, accredited voters were 200. PDP won all the 200 votes. But that 200 were not enough for them, they changed it to 800 when registered voters are 700.

All efforts by agents of the PDP to get the result to be accepted, was unsuccessful as the Collation Officer, Prof. Iwe, suspended the result from the area. So far at press time, results from 12 councils out of 17 have been collated.

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