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Close to three weeks after the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva left the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the federal government yesterday finally publicly confirmed the junior minister’s resignation from the government.

Traditionally, when senior government officials leave government positions, the administration ordinarily announces their exit. However, it was unclear why the resignation of the minister, who has gone to vie for the governorship seat in Bayelsa state, was treated as top secret before yesterday.

However, in an apparent last-minute effort to douse the controversy generated by the refusal of the authorities to make the announcement, a Special Assistant to the President on Digital Communications, Bashir Ahmad, disclosed via his  Twitter handle, that Sylva resigned to pursue his gubernatorial ambition.

“Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and former Bayelsa State Governor, Timipre Sylva, has resigned his appointment to contest in the next Bayelsa governorship election,” Ahmad confirmed.

Sylva, who was yet to complete his constitutionally guaranteed two terms as governor of Bayelsa State before he was forced out at the time,  is seeking a new term as governor of the oil-producing state.

But THISDAY gathered that Sylva handed his resignation letter to Buhari on March 14 and had stopped coming to the office since then. The All Progressives Congress (APC)  party primaries in Bayelsa is scheduled to take place on April 14.

On Tuesday, March 28, during the official inauguration of oil exploration in Nasarawa State, Sylva was absent, but the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, announced that he was standing in for him on the occasion.

In addition, unlike the usual practice of formally notifying or meeting with aides for formal goodbyes done by senior  government officials, it was understood that nothing of such had taken place at the time of this report, leaving almost all his appointees in the dark.

In the resignation letter to Buhari obtained by THISDAY, Sylva told the president that he had delivered on all the priority areas he set for himself when he was picked as minister by the current administration.

In the official communication addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Sylva recalled that the Nigerian constitution and the APC guidelines required that he stepped down from his ministerial position before contesting for any political post.

“Mr. President and Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources (HMPR) is respectfully invited to recall the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 as well as the guidelines for the conduct of primaries issued by our great party, the APC, relating to political appointees aspiring to participate in its primary elections at al levels.

“By the provisions of Section 3 of the guidelines: “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for the purpose of the nomination of candidates.

“Any political office holder interested in contesting for an elective office shall leave office 30 days prior to the date of election or party primary for the office sought.”

“I am interested in contesting elections for the position of governor of Bayelsa State and in participating in the upcoming party primaries. In this regard, I hereby tender my resignation as Honourable Minister of State with effect from 15 March 2023.

“In line with extant Regulations and Policies of the civil service, I shall hand over to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Petroleum Resources, pending the appointment of a new Minister of State by Mr President,” the minister wrote.

Describing it as an honour to serve the president and the country in general, and to help in actualising Buhari’s vision for the Nigerian petroleum sector, Sylva added that he was leaving office fulfilled.

“I have served with diligence and integrity as a result of which I have delivered on my ministerial mandates along the nine priority areas of the administration. I am leaving office with a sense of fulfilment knowing that I have left the Nigerian petroleum industry better than I met it under your guidance and with your unflinching support .

“I am ready once again, for the next challenge of elective office and take with me the added experience from serving as  Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I have no doubt in my mind that this will enrich the content and context of my governance when I do get elected into office and remain grateful for the privilege you granted me to serve,” Sylva told the president.

In retrospect, during the minister’s nearly four years in office, a number of reforms in the oil sector, including the long-awaited passing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) that overhauled the sector’s fiscal regime in a bid to spur investment, finally became a success.  The bill had been in the works for nearly 20 years.

However, on the downside, it was also during his term that Nigeria had the longest period of petrol scarcity.  Nigeria’s oil output also fell to its lowest in decades as a result of crude theft and pipeline vandalism during the period.

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Anambra Govt. Arrests Two Fake Doctors, Shuts Down Hospitals



The Anambra state government has arrested two fake medical doctors and sealed off their health facilities at Alor in Idemili South Local Government Area and Adazi-Enu in Anaocha Local Government Area of the state.

Dr Afam Obidike, the state’s commissioner for health, accompanied by some security operatives and members of the Anambra Joint Enforcement Team (ANJET), raided the areas on Friday night and arrested the suspects.

Speaking to newsmen on Saturday, the commissioner identified the suspects as Anayo Okwara, owner of Bright Land Hospital and Maternity Ltd in Alor and Igwe Ogbonna, owner of Favour of God Hospital and Maternity, Adazi-Enu.

He said that the suspects were operating the hospitals illegally in the state.

“Following investigation, it was discovered that Ogbonna is not even a medical doctor and does not have any medical knowledge.

“He also used his hospital as a nursing school, where students pay as much as N70,000 to N100,000 to study nursing. Some of the student nurses we met at the facility confirmed this.

“On Okwara, the second suspect, the president-general of Alor community, Chief Emmanuel Ojukwu, wrote to the ministry complaining about incessant deaths recorded at Bright Land Hospital.

“Okwara, first claimed that he was a homeopathic doctor, but later admitted that his medical certificates and license were forged when he was being questioned,” he said.

Mr Obidike said that five illegal health facilities had been shut down so far, saying that Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s administration would not relent in its effort to flush out fake doctors operating across the state.

He said that the objective of the exercise was not to witch-hunt anyone but to ensure standards both in government and private hospitals in the state.

“It is unfortunate that death is an irreversible course and I do not understand why people who are not medical practitioners will continue to waste people’s lives because of greed and quest to make money through illegal means.

“We are sending out this warning to those operating illegally and parading themselves as medical doctors to close down their hospitals or face the full wrath of the law.

“Anambra is not a place for quacks to practice,” he said.

The commissioner thanked the community leaders and vigilante groups for the tip-off and urged residents to be vigilant and report such illegality in their areas.

He commended Mr Soludo for giving them the necessary support to execute the raid.

Mr Obidike said that the suspects would be charged to court.

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Abia LP Commends NLC For Calling Off Strike



The Abia State Chapter of the Labour Party, led by Ceekay Igara, on Sunday, commended the organised labour in the state for showing solidarity with the incoming government of Alex Otti by calling off her two-week old strike.

Igara, in a statement signed by Njoku Jerry Ajike, the state publicity secretary of the party, said it was a sign of the great change that is about to happen among the Abia state workforce.

He stated, “We, as the political arm of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, consider this decision to call off the strike by the leadership of the TUC and NLC as a great act of patriotism and evidence of loyalty and support to the incoming Labour Party-led government of Dr Alex Otti.”

He explained that the leadership of the Congress arrived at the decision on May 27 after visiting the governor-elect, Alex Otti, at his residence.

“The incoming Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, had reassured the workers of his commitment to improving workers’ welfare without wavering,” the party assured Abians.

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Rivers Police Seal Ex- Lawmaker’s  Hotel, Entertainment Centre




Two entertainment centres, the CSKR Hotels and Priscy’s Bar and Suites both in Elekahia, Port Harcourt, Rivers State were early on Monday morning sealed by armed policemen.

Staff and lodgers at the two sealed facilities were forcefully ordered out of the premises by the security operatives who stormed there in a commando style.

The businesses are owned by a former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Jones Ogbonda.

Ogbonda is said to be a staunch supporter of the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

It was gathered that the heavily armed operatives, all dressed in black, are said to be from the C4i Intelligence unit of the state police command.

Our correspondent who visited one of the sealed premises (Priscy’s Bar and Suites) at about 6:55 am on Monday reports that heavily armed, stern-looking policemen occupied the entrance, while two white Hilux patrol vans were stationed there.

In a voice note sent to our correspondent, Ogbonda confirmed the incident, saying the managers of the facilities put calls across to him in the wee hours of Monday to break the news.

He stated,” On the early hours of 29th May 2023 at about 2:55 am, my phone rand and my manager informed me that men of the C4i tactical team of the Nigeria Police Force in about five patrol vans drive into the premises of  Priscy’s Bar and suites in Elekahia.

“They ordered guests in the rooms, customers in the club and staff in the outer bar out, that they have orders from the governor to seal the place.

“As I speak, they are still occupying the premises.

“I also received a call from the manager of CSKR hotels at Elekahia Housing Estate to the effect that men of the C4i of the Nigeria Police were at the hotel searching from room to room, ordering guests and staff out of the premises.

“That they have taken occupation under the orders of His Excellency. This is sad.”

Our correspondent reports that on 19th August 2022,  the Priscy’s Bar and Suites was sealed and some staff and customers were arrested and detained by security operatives.

The bar was sealed off for 11 days before it was allowed to reopen.

When contacted, the spokesperson of the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she will contact the Elekahia Police Division and get back to our reporter.

She has yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.


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