Sunday, 22 July 2012


I have clarified with three Senior Permanent Secretaries one in Bayelsa State and two in Rivers State. According to them a State Governor has the constitutional powers to appoint anybody as a Permanent Secretary, in some cases even though it does not conform with the Public Service Rules. Such offices, according to the career bureaucrats are sometimes at the pleasure of the Governor.

It is true that Dame Patience Jonathan was a staff of the Ministry of Education and her appointment as PS may not be out of order. CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS may transcend the Public Service Rules. Some Governors wives are judges, some President's wives are judges and they can occupy any appointive position. On the face of it, the appointment looks odd but Governor HSD has the constitutional powers to make such appointments. The Governor is both a legal practitioner as well as a law maker. I respect the opinion of these career civil servants. CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS SUPERSEDE THE PUBLIC SERVICE RULES

Idumange John



The office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa State on Civil Society Comrade Tony Nathan Ile cordially invites the Public to an Interactive session between the Bayelsa State Government and Civil Society.

Date: THURSDAY, 2nd August 2012

Venue: Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa

Time: 4.00pm to 6.00pm

His Excellency, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State will be the Chief Host.

N/B: The Niger Delta Integrity Group, NDIG, is one of the Civil Society Groups invited for this event.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012




PREAMBLE: Permit me to express my gratitude to the organizers of this inauguration ceremony for finding me worthy to deliver a paper on this ‘auspicious occasion’

The term New Media is not purely transparent and simple as it seems. The ‘New Media’ have created a new Social environment, new Communicational, and cognitive habits, and certainly a new way to comprehend and analyze the relationship between mass media, and society, which in essence has changed the trend of governance in the 21st century.

Building on Mclluhan’s idea of a newly shaped social environment, George Grant’s text illustrates the neutral values of technology, whose applications could only be determined by the paradigm of knowledge that composes the technological apparatuses on one hand, and the users on the other.

However, in the last few years, governance the World over has witnessed fundamental changes with the emergence of New Media technologies.

Today, Government, employees, students and companies have embraced the use of New Media Technologies such as, Facebook, Twitter, Google, You-tube, Badoo, 2go, Black Berry Messenger. etc., to their own advantages daily to disseminate information and receive immediate and unhampered feed backs, which make the New Media Unique and distinct from the old and conventional media- Radio,TV, Book, Magazine, Newspapers etc.


Let me begin by appreciating the concept “new media”- as the name suggests.

New Media is a broad term in media studies that emerged in the latter part of the 20th century that refers to on-demand access to content anytime, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feed-back, creative participation and community formation around the media content. Another important promise of new media is the “democratization” of the creation, publishing, distribution and consumption of media content. Another aspect of new media is the real-time generation of new, unregulated content. {Wikipedia}

Most technologies described as “New Media” are digital, often having characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, and  interactive. Some examples may be the internet, websites, computer multimedia, video games, CD-ROMS, and DVDs. New Media does not include television programs, features films, magazines, books, or paper-based publications unless they contain technologies that enable digital interactivity. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, is an example, combining internet accessible digital text, images and video with web-links, creative participation of contributors, interactive feedback of users and formation of a participant community of editors and donors for the benefit of non-community readers. Facebook is an example of the social media model, in which most users are also participants.


Until the 1980s media relied primarily upon print and analog broadcast models, such as those of television and radio. The last twenty-five years have seen the rapid transformation into media which are predicated upon the use of digital technologies, such as the internet and video games. However, these examples are only a small representation of new media. The use of digital computers has transformed the remaining ‘old’ media, as suggested by the advent of digital television and online publications. Even traditional media forms such as the printing press have been transformed through the application of technologies such as image manipulated software like Adobe Photoshop and desktop publishing tools.

Shapiro (1999) argues that the “ emergence of new, digital technologies signals a  potential radical shift of who is in control of information, experience and resources’’ (Shapiro cited in Croteau and Hoynes 2003:322) Neuman (1991) suggests that whilst the “new media” have technical capabilities to pull in one direction, economic and social forces pull back in the opposite direction. According to Neuman, “ We are witnessing the evolution of a universal interconnected network of audio video, and electronic text communications that will blur the distinction between interpersonal and mass communication and between public and private communication, “ Neuman cited in Croteau and Hoynes (2003:322). Neuman argues further that New Media will:
  • Alter the meaning of geographic distance
  • Allow for a huge increase in the volume of communication.
  • Provide the possibility of increasing the speed of communication.
  • Provide opportunities for interactive communication.
  • Allow forms of communication that were previously separate to overlap and interconnect.

Consequently it is true, that New Media, and particularly the Internet, provide the potential for a democratic postmodern public sphere, in which citizens can participate in well informed, non-hierarchical debate pertaining to their social structures. Contradicting these positive appraisals of the potential social impacts of new media are scholars such as Ed Herman and Robert McChesney who have suggested that the transition to new media has seen a handful of powerful transnational telecommunications corporations who achieve a level of global influence which was hitherto unimaginable.

Scholars, such as Lister et al. (2003) and Friedman (2005), have highlighted both the positive and negative potential and actual implications of New Media technologies, suggesting that some of the early work into new media studies was guilty of technological determinism – whereby the effect of media were determined by the technology themselves, rather than through tracing the complex social networks which governed the development, funding, implementation and future development of any technology.


The rise of New Media have increased communication between people the world over and the internet.

Flew (2002) stated that as a result of the evolution of new media technologies, globalization occurs. Globalization is generally stated as “more than expansion of activities beyond the boundaries of particular nation states”. Globalization shortens the distance between people all over the world by the electronic communication Carely (1992) in flew (2002) and Cairncross (1998) expresses this great development as the “death of distance”. New Media “radically breaks the connection between physical place and social place, making physical location much less significant for our social relationship” Croteau and Hoynes (2003:311)

However, the changes in the New Media environment create a series of tension in the concept of “Public Sphere”. “Public sphere” is defined as a process through which public communication becomes restructured and partly disembedded from national political and cultural institutions. This trend of the globalized public sphere is not only as a geographical expansion from a nation to worldwide, but also changes the relationship between the public, the media and the state. Volkmer (1999:123).

“Virtual communities’’ are being established online and transcend geographical boundaries eliminating social restriction. Rheingold (2000) described these globalised societies as self-defined networks, which resemble what we do in real life. “People  in virtual communities use words on screen to exchange pleasantries and argue, engage in intellectual discourse, conduct commerce, make plans, brainstorm, gossip, feud, fall in love, create little high art and a lot of idle talk”.

While this perspective suggests of globalization, arguments involving technological determinism are generally frowned upon by mainstream media studies. Instead academics focus on the multiplicity of processes by which technology is funded, researched and produced, forming a feedback loop when the technologies are used and often transformed by their users, which then feeds into the process of guiding their future development.


Good Governance means essentially, the ability to provide the needed infrastructure capable of driving a particular economy.
For any Government to be successful, the governed must have a sense of belonging in the polity. This in clear terms means the ability to participate in the affairs of the state.

To participate actively in the affairs of the state in any polity, the most essential tool to use is the New Media Technology. Mclluhan in his thesis posited that with New Media Technology, the World is now a global village. But suffice it to say that the global village phenomenon has given rise to what we call the “global Family” phenomenon as the Internet has made the World smaller now than Mclluhan ever imagined
For the Government of Bayelsa State to be rated amongst the World best leading states, adaptation to the dictates of the new media technology will be apt.

In this regard, the postulation of Manovich and Castellers (2001) in which they argued that mass media corresponded to the logic of industrial mass society, which values conformity over individuality. New Media follows the logic of the Post-Industrial or globalized society whereby “every citizen can construct his or her own custom lifestyle and select his or her own ideology from a large number of choices.

For the Government of Bayelsa State to thrive, the establishment of an enabling technology driven environment with free access by all and sundry will be a panacea for effective governance.
It is obvious from my observation that the technology is society and society cannot be understood without its technological tools, Castell (1996).

While the distinction between public and private life is not unique to modern societies, Thompson (2011) argues that the emergence of the New Media Communication, from print to Radio, Television and Internet has altered the very nature of the public, the private and relation between them.

The boundaries of private life and public have been blurred as New Media have adopted an increasingly more publicized domain. Society seems to have also adapted to this public change and are more willing than ever to publish personal information on the Internet.

For instance, when stories break it is customary for reporters to do all they can to discover as much as possible about the people involved. The willingness of people to so much material about themselves on the net has made that task much easier for Journalists.

It is the correlation between people’s willingness to broadcast and the publicized domain available that has blurred the lines between private and public life in New Media.
Governments the World over, today, use the new media technology to advance its course. The advantage of the new media over the conventional media is very broad.
The conventional media such as Radio, Television, Newspaper, Magazine etc. adapt themselves to a one-way communication model. For instance, interpersonal media is “One on one”, Mass Media is “One to many” and New Media is individual media or “Many to Many”.

To actually interface effectively, the New Media is the most appropriate to achieve that purpose. The Facebook, Twitter, you-Tube, 2go, Badoo, Black Berry Messenger are all new media technology that must be harnessed for effective results in governance, as feedbacks are immediate without hindrances.
Statistics has it that over 7 million Nigerians Worldwide are on facebook, 2 million Internet users, and 100 million active mobile phone line users, which has actually made the sharing of information very easy, which is essential to the development of any state.
The decision of the Bayelsa State Government to take advantage of these new media technologies, is indeed a very welcomed development which is worth commending and worthy of emulation by other state governments.
No other media can provide a robust interactive platform, except the “New Media Technology” which will effectively promote good governance and active participation for all and sundry irrespective of social statuses. It is true, that everywhere in the world, citizens participate actively in governance through the new media.
This very medium allows for freedom of expression of opinion irrespective of political, religious, ethnic or social statuses.
The 2011 general elections were test cases to the effectiveness of the social media which gave on the spot assessments of the electoral situation without much-ado.
The New Media Technology therefore, must be embraced with both arms.
Agbanu, V. N. & Nwammuo, A. N. (2009) Broadcast Media Enugu: Rhyce kerex printers
B’ beri, B. E.etal (2007) Introduction to Media Studies. A Reader,Canada: Oxford University  press.
Baran, S. J.         (2004) Introduction to Mass Communication, New York: Mc Graw-Hills Companies.
Bittner, J. R. (1989) Mass Communication An Introduction, 5th Edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.
Cooke, P.(2005) New Media and New Economy Cluster Dynamics. New York.
Greenslede, R. (2008) “Press Complaints Commission faces up to facebook Intrusions” The Guardian uk., feb. 2008; Accessed June 18, 2012 –http//
Oyero, O. S.(2007) “The Implication of Internet on the Practice of Mass Media” in International Journal of Communication number six, may 2007.
Seitel¸ F. P. (2011). The Practice of Public Relations. New York: Pearson Education, Inc.
Shepherd, J. M. (1981) Sociology. Minesota: West Publishing Co.
Thompson, J. B. (2011) “Shifting boundaries of public and private life” Theory culture society 28(4)49-70
[1] Ibituru I.Pepple is the Coordinator of the International Institute of Journalism, Port Harcourt Centre. He is a Fellow of many Professional bodies at home and abroad.

Government of Bayelsa state to ban commercial motorcycles otherwise known as OKADA by the ending of this month

by: saint mienpamo (DIRECTOR OF OPERATION) bayelsa new media team

The Bayelsa State government has announced its decision to phase out the use of commercial motorcycles otherwise known as Okada in the state with effect from the end of this month. Governor Henry Dickson said the ban has become imperative following incessant cases of motorcycle accidents which has resulted in the maiming and death of commuters.

He told the bayelsa new media team that alternative measures will be put in place through the provision of a revolving loan for taxi cabs, buses and tricycles for genuine drivers in the state to boost their businesses as well as close any perceived gap that would be created by the ban.
The governor also pointed out that his administration was working hard to establish a driving school in the state to train drivers free of charge just as he urged those interested in commercial driving to get themselves registered with the state’s Ministry of Transport.
In addition, his government, he said will provide bus stops and walkways for pedestrians to curb indiscriminate parking of commercial vehicles while the roads in the state capital would be expanded to add to the aesthetic beauty of Yenagoa.

Sunday, 1 July 2012



"On transparency, we believe that it is the right of the people of the state, to know what funds accrue to the coffers of the state and the various local government councils and how they are utilized. This is the only way to secure the trust and confidence of the people in whom sovereignty lies. I have directed all local government chairmen to comply with this paradigm shift on the issue of transparency, probity and accountability, to reflect the new Bayelsa we are building”. - Governor Henry Seriake Dickson

We are delighted that Bayelsans now know the income and expenditure of the State on a monthly basis. This push for transparency is a reform that will reposition government towards the implementation of policies, plans and programmes for accelerated development. Our prayer is that Local Government Council Chairmen should also take this stride at promoting transparency to regain the peoples confidence. I know Nembe Local Government Chairman has done it. Others should follow the good example.



YENAGOA – THE Military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta has arrested an ex-militant commander, Mr Seiyefa Gbereke, for sabotage on petroleum pipelines.
Gbereke, alias “General Cairo’’, who is alleged to be a pipeline bomber in the region, was paraded before newsmen in Yenagoa on Friday by the JTF Media Coordinator, Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu.
Nwachukwu told newsmen that the suspect had confessed that he vandalised numerous pipeline in Delta and Bayelsa.
“The suspect is vicious and notorious in the act of pipeline bombings and vandalism and had been on our radar over the past three months,” Nwachukwu said.
According to him, Gbereke confessed during interrogation by JTF Commander, Maj.-Gen Johnson Ochoga, to the bombing of Agip Manifold and trunk lines at Azagbene and Biseni communities in Bayelsa.
Nwachukwu said he also confessed to the destruction of two oil wells that caused pollution of waters in Berisindi, adding that Gbereke made his confessions “willingly and voluntarily”.
He said the suspect also admitted leading his eight-man gang to carry out other pipeline attacks in the creeks of Warri and the destruction of Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) pipeline at Tuomo.
The JTF spokesman said that Gbereke, 25, hailed from Bolou Orua community in the Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
He said that the suspect had being hiding in Bonny Island in Rivers and Warri in Delta.
“We have been hunting him and his gang; so only yesterday (Thursday) our intelligence operatives tracked him down at Warri in Delta and lured him out of his hideout down to the JTF headquarters here in Yenagoa.’’
Gbereke,who claimed leadership of the Movement for the Survival of Niger Delta Disarmed Youths, said he was an ex-militant before the amnesty proclamation and had led a 7,000-man army.
He claimed he carried out pipeline bombings to draw government’s attention to the plight of his group.
The suspect said that his group had submitted 9,000 assorted arms and ammunition under the third phase amnesty but were yet to be documented by the authorities.
“It is the government that said we should submit arms and that we will be registered under the third phase of the amnesty programme.
“But up till date, my group is yet to be documented. We carried out numerous open protest and blocking of highways.
“We even petitioned Hon. Kinsley Kuku, the Amnesty Director, and also attempted to take our protest to Abuja but we were stopped by security agents at Lokoja.
“Upon all these our efforts, government refused to listen to us,’’ he said.
Gbereke said that following his helpless situation, his gang resolved to attack oil pipelines to get the authorities to register them under the third phase amnesty programme.
The JTF spokesman said the suspect would remain in the custody of taskforce until investigation into his activities was completed.

Day police stations survived renewed attacks in Kano

Horrific memories of the violence that enveloped Kano city on January 20, 2012 – when members of the Boko Haram sect carried out coordinated attacks on police formations, claiming about 200 lives – were relived Tuesday, as gunmen, suspected to be Boko Haram members, launched similar multiple raids on police formations in the state.
The coordinated attacks on Tuesday by the gunmen started at about 6pm and lasted several hours into the night, with gunshots and loud sounds of explosives renting the air as well as dark smoke rising from the affected areas.
With the knowledge of the near-battle situation that the state was plunged into on January 20 and trying to avoid being caught in deadly web of the unfolding situation, people hurriedly rushed back to their homes.
Soon, reports coming out of the areas, though scanty, pointed out that serious gun duel had ensued between the assailants and security forces. About four police stations and barracks, prison yard and a secondary school came under attack that day.
First to be targeted was Dala Police Station, which was in recent past, a constant target of many unsuccessful attacks by the gunmen.
Dozens of the assailants, it was gathered, stormed the station firing guns and throwing explosives, triggering a fierce reaction from policemen drafted to guard the place. Residents said bullets were heard flying in all directions as the battle continued, adding that the encounter subsequently increased in ferocity as personnel of the Joint Security Taskforce (JTF) returned fire.
As the fighting was going on, sounds of heavy explosions were heard several kilometers away. Sunday Trust leaned that it took the security agencies more than two hours to repel the attack and contain the station from getting out of hand.
During the January attack, a couple of police stations, in addition to the zonal police headquarters along BUK Road, were badly destroyed by suicide bombers who rammed vehicles rigged with explosives into them or set them ablaze.
Police stations like ‘Yar Akwa, Farm Centre and Sharada have all suffered the wrath, prompting police authorities to highten security checks around all police posts in the state, with some measures requiring whole streets completely blocked or partially barricaded.
Even with that, police stations like Mandawari and Dala, had been coming under serious attacks, until the one on Tuesday. Similarly, since the January attack, many policemen and other security agents have fallen victims of continuous targeted killings by suspected gunmen, forcing the officers to relocate to places considered safer.
For instance, a retired police DIG, a customs officer and an SSS personnel were targeted and killed  and Boko Haram had claimed responsibility in various parts of the state within the last two weeks.
The state police command said it lost one police officer in the attack, adding while one was injured. Residents informed our correspondent that following the attack, security men cordoned off the neighbourhood searching houses. “They entered my house and asked of the head and other male occupants, but they were told I went out and they left,” said a resident who does not want to be named.
“A man was shot in the head right in front of my house. The security came and evacuated the body the following day, but if you come now you will see his brain tissues all over the place,” he said.
While briefing newsmen on the encounter, Kano Police Commissioner, Alhaji Ibrahim K Idris, said about 30 “insurgents” carried out the attack at Dala, explaining that his men were able to kill 10 of them and pushed back the rest after a serious gun duel.
He said the gunmen abandoned a Volkswagen Golf car, a bus containing large quantity of drugs and syringes and a Toyota Corolla carrying N100,000. Other items recovered from the abandoned car included 10 undetonated explosives and more drugs, which the police said were meant for First Aid.
“Also recovered from the assailants were three AK-47 rifles, eight magazines with hundreds of live ammunitions. Three suspects were arrested,” said Idris.
Few minutes after the attack on Dala Police Station, more attacks were reported at Jakara Police outpost and Goron Dutse Prison yard, the second largest detention facility in the state. Police said two of the attackers, who threw Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at the ‘disused’ outpost were killed by guards on duty at a nearby police barracks.
Similarly, the attack on the Goron Dutse Prison yard was said to have been foiled.
The same night, gunmen staged other attacks with rifles and explosives at Panshekara Police Station, 52 Mobile Police Force Squadron and Junior Secondary School Sabuwar Doka in Ungogo Local Government Area.
A female resident of Panshekara told our correspondent that during the attack sounds of explosives and gunshots rent the air as though they were being fired close to her room. “It was as if bullets were hitting on our roofs,” she said.
The multiple attacks compelled many residents to return to their homes earlier than usual, throughout Kano city.
Security agents in the state have held the Tuesday encounter as the most successful of all their operations against gunmen in the state in recent times, although fears were entertained by residents that some of the 17 persons killed could have included innocent passers-by.
Also security forces in the state have attributed Tuesday’s coordinated attacks on police formations to an attempt by the gunmen to acquire arms and ammunitions.
In a statement through its spokesperson, Lt Ikedichi Iweha, JTF said the attack was in the fashion of the one on January 20. “Multiple Improvised Explosive Devices were detonated by members of the terrorist sect at Goron Dutse and Dala general areas of Kano akin to the 20 January 2012 attacks in the state, said Iweha.”
He further explained that “the terrorist elements eventually gained access to the Dala Police Division outpost where they killed a Police Corporal and were about to loot the arms store of the Police division before the swift response of security forces.”
He said the attackers had intended to break into the Goron Dutse prison as was the case recently in Yobe State. “You would recollect that a couple of days ago, members of the terrorist sect staged a prison break in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State where about forty inmates were freed. As efforts are on to track the fleeing inmates, another situation was averted by the swift response of the JTF in Kano yesterday as the JTF believes that the intent of the terrorists was to first destabilize the closest reinforcement to the Goron Dutse prisons and then storm the prison for a possible break. This attempt was frustrated by the JTF.
“This latest incident once again revealed that members of the sect would stop at nothing to destabilize the peace of the state and commercial activities which are slowly picking up.
All efforts must collectively be on deck to root out these terrorists. The JTF once again thanked the good people of Kano state for the cooperation it has been receiving from them. The JTF urges the general public to continue to cooperate with it in the area of providing information on suspicious persons within the communities and to remain vigilant to apprehend terrorists who may be lurking around to drop IEDs. It will be recalled that some suspected terrorist gang had attempted to destabilize Kano went it planted IED in a mosque in Fagge just before last Friday’s prayers with the intent of suspected religious conflicts between the adherents of Islamd and Christianity thereby achieving their aim of destabilizing the state.