News, People, Politics


What appeared as comradeship and a five and six relationship between Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Chief Timipre Sylva, former governor of Bayelsa state in their dream of taking over the reins of government from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not only in the twin states of Rivers and Bayelsa, but at the federal level, may remain what it has always been, a tall dream. Whatever seemed like the about-to-be-consolidated bond of friendship between the duo has been torn apart.

Trouble and hostility, we heard, started at the congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State. This was due to an alleged plot by some politicians to hijack the congress and install a substantive executive loyal to Chief Sylva.

And according to top APC sources, the alleged plot has moved Governor Amaechi against his former partner, Chief Sylva.

Sylva3_462273906Amaechi, as a national supervisor of APC in the three states of Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom, had moved against such plot in the interest of the establishment of a solid base for the party in the state and asked the former Bayelsa governor to serve as a leader and refuse the temptation of installing a substantive executive ahead of his 2016 governorship ambition. Sylva was said to have bluntly rejected it, insisting that he is nobody’s stooge, and as such should not be ordered about by anyone.

Another factor that fired Sylva’s refusal, we learnt, was the recent exit of some of his loyalists from the APC in the state. A week or two ago, Prince Lucky Yeubogha, the special adviser on protocol matters to the former governor, left the APC with over 1,000 members of his camp and socio-political group, the Great Sagbama House, and returned to the PDP, citing faulty party ideology and the realization that the party’s strategy is based on trial and error politics, as reason.

And all efforts by the APC interim chairman, Chief Tiwei Orunimigha and his former boss, Sylva, to make him go back on the decision met a stone wall.

Meanwhile, only three weeks ago, Sylva had publicly resolved to shun his former boss, President Jonathan, resolving instead to work and support Amaechi. The former governor even led party executives and supporters of the APC in Bayelsa on a courtesy call on Governor Amaechi at the Government House, Port Harcourt where he assured Amaechi that the Bayelsa chapter of the APC will work with him to flush out the PDP-led federal government at the next elections. Today, all those plans have gone with the wild wind.


Sodom and Gomorrah has resurrected in our clime. A cult of teenage homosexuals patronized by gay men has been uncovered in Warri, the commercial capital of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s oil-rich state of Delta. And wait for this, it was the medical doctor-turned-politician himself that made this wild disclosure to the bewilderment of Deltans.

As part of his Easter message to Deltans at the First Baptist Church, Warri on Sunday, April 20, 2014, Governor Uduaghan disclosed that young boys aged between 15 and 18 have been discovered to belong to a sect named Yansh. These boys live in rented apartments in the neighbourhood of Enerhen Junction in Warri, and there indulge in their illicit acts. Their patrons are top society and businessmen who sleep with them.

The lid was blown off through the Edu Marshals Programme that discovered them.


Thursday, April 24, everyone was woken up by the news that there was a minor reshuffle in the cabinet of Chief Godswill Akpabio.

The press release signed at about 11 pm the previous night by Mr. Aniekan Umanah, Hon. Commissioner for Information and Communications, had it that in view of the need to re-invigorate the machinery of government and drive further his principal’s uncommon transformation programmes, a minor cabinet reshuffle was approved.

And the commissioners relieved of their appointments were Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan (Finance) and Barr. Effiong Abia (Rural Development).

Aside the duo, who were directed to hand over to the permanent secretaries in their respective ministries, five other board chairmen were also relieved of their appointments. They were Obong Sunny Udom (AKS Property and Investment Company Ltd (APICO); Hon. Patrick Ifon (AKS Water Company Limited); Obong Dan Akai (AKS Newspaper Corporation, AKNC); Hon. Alex Nyong (AKS Broadcasting Corporation); Hon. John Asikpo (AKS Environmental Protection and Management Board) and Abom Tony Esu (AKS Agency for Community and Social Development).

But political pundits say, aside Albert and Abia, who have guber dreams ahead 2015, the chairmen were consumed by the sack apparently because they were believed to be staunch loyalists of the former SSG, Obong Umana Okon Umana, who himself is a strong contender of the Hilltop Mansion Government House in Uyo. And these ambitions are not flying on the same page with the governor’s body language which amebos said has a soft spot for a certain preferred successor.

As news of the reshuffle hit Uyo that morning, newer formulae were immediately posted for the calculation of the state’s political mathematics. And before one could spell Albert, over 2000 women at the Akpan Ndem Market, Uyo’s main market had closed shops to welcome Albert, the former banker turned politician, whom they described as a man of goodwill, at his Shelter Afrique residence.

Let us spare you the details, but we can authoritatively say that Uyo, for hours on end stood still throughout Friday due to the huge human and vehicular traffic because of the 40-year old former finance commissioner and grassrooter, who many said is the man ordained by God to take over the state come 2015.

Meanwhile, there is a gist flying at a very high speed around Uyo that all members of AK EXCO dropped since 2007 are to be probed and investigated for possible culpability in corrupt enrichment of selves and cronies.

A source confided that some of these former political appointees were now joining forces against the aspirations of the governor to go to the senate and to install a successor.

The ex Exco members were also fingered for leaking classified data to opposition forces alleging that in a state where thousands are jobless and beg around with songs and phoney awards to survive, the finance books show an indebtedness that runs into a whooping tune of N400 billion.

The strategy, we learnt, is to blackmail the former commissioners, have them cough out their billions and sell some of their alleged ill-gotten assests in an impending “let all of us fight stark naked” situation endorsed by the cabal to whip the so called “judases” into the right wing 2015 line. And as the war rages there are scoops here and there that more serving Exco members will be dropped soon.


The city of Calabar came agog on Good Friday (April 18) through Easter Sunday, April 20, as the second edition of Calabar International Jazz Festival kicked off with renowned jazz maestros like Jimmy Dludlu from South Africa, Greece-born Salvador Sango, and Nigerian acts including Bez and Double Kinetic Crew serenading.

Conoisseurs of smooth jazz, R ‘n’ B and African dance music, for three nights, had a swell time through fabulous performances by this coterie of artistes thrilling at the main bowl of the Cultural Center, Calabar.

In what was clearly an added flavour to the Easter celebration, the 2500-capacity auditorium of the four-day event, was electrified as Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, members of his cabinet, the state lawmakers, Minister of Culture and Tourism, High Chief Edem Duke and other jazz enthusiasts gyrated all night to a sumptuous dose of afro, contemporary and classic jazz tunes.

One of Africa’s finest and multiple-award winner, Jimmy Dludlu, who was one of the main acts on Friday, broke protocol when he stepped out of the stage to the VIP lounge and literally pulled out the crowd including Governor Imoke to the dance floor.

From his albums, Echos of the Past, Corners of my Soul and Afrocentric, the jazz maestro thrilled the ecstatic audience to fabulous hit rhythms and dance steps of the legendary Michael Jackson.

calabarThen came Greece-born Salvador Sango’s band which electrified the auditorium with an eclectic mix of African (Yoruba) music with various western styles, including the new genre called Afro-fusion.

Jos-born but Lagos-based singer, song writer and instrumentalist Bez, further mesmerized the audience, especially the younger ones, with his energetic and mind-blowing songs and instrumentals.

Akwa Ibom-born 24 year-old, Eddy Izzycs held everyone spellbound, while wowing them with his uncanny display of multiple talents with flute, sax and piano.

Playing alongside the 2013 Project Fame contestant, Shina, Eddy thrilled with excellent tunes occasionally punctuated by screams and applause.

There was also the cast of Double Kinetic Crew, another homeboy who flagged off the show with his sensational display of sax artistry.

The Calabar International Jazz Festival is an annual event packaged for the Easter break for lovers of jazz.

Others that performed at this year’s edition of the international event which ended on Easter Monday were Asa, Micasa Music, Kunle Ayo, Keyshia Cole, Darey, Liquideep, Gwyn Jay Allen, Hugh Masekela and Yinka Davies.

The Calabar International Jazz Festival debuted in 2013, and has grown in leaps and bounds.



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