By: Monima Daminabo

It is not for nothing that the ‘We Agenda, putting people first’ catch-phrase, resonates quickly with not a few Nigerians, for whom good governance has always remained a pie in the sky – usually sighted and hoped for, but never realised. It evokes the dispensation whereby humanity stands for the good of its own, and by implication holds that government exists for the governed. Governments across the world and over time, come to be as the governed concede their rights and sundry endowments, to designated persons to exercise same on their behalf. Little wonder that many governments are also quick to claim that they exist for the governed, but in practice it is the interest of the wielders of the instruments of governance that defines the allocation of values.

The ‘We Agenda’ which rides on the dispensation of putting people first by governments, therefore evokes the fixation of governance on the imperative of satisfying the individual citizen first, and to ensure that no such citizen is excluded from the enterprise of governance, on the basis of any criterion whatsoever.

Governance in this context must therefore embrace with equal measure of care, the rich and poor, the man and woman, boy and the girl, as well as the weak and strong. And the only requirement for the citizen to enjoy good governance, is to be a law abiding individual. This is what makes the ‘We Agenda’ a soul mate to essential good governance.

According to the United Nations, “good governance refers to the processes and institutions of governance that produce results which meet the needs of society, while making the best use of resources at their disposal”. Typically, good governance manifests at least 10 principles namely, a wide scope of citizen participation, respect for rule of law, transparency, responsiveness and consensus orientation. Others are respect for equity and inclusiveness, effectiveness and efficiency as well as accountability. Against the backdrop of the foregoing, it remains crystal clear that hardly has governments in our clime pretended to be guided by these principles to any appreciable extent.

In a related context however, the very same principles of good governance had served as the driving inspiration for Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs (DLB) in his younger days and stimulated his desire to make a change in his society. This factor accounted for his early foray into partisan politics over two decades ago. Just as well, the ethos of the ‘We Agenda’ had also remained his consuming passion all through the years, and accounts for his exemplary philanthropic outreaches, which today have transformed lives across the entire Rivers State, and beyond to other parts of the country.

A striking feature of the dalliance between DLB and the ‘We’ Agenda, is the consistency with which he had pursued the vision of intervening in governance of Rivers State in order to plant the dispensation, in spite of systemic inertia that had tended to keep the status quo. In the same vein has he been confronted with a conflict between the mass appeal which the ‘We Agenda’ enjoys and the inertia towards change by the political system.

Since its creation on May 27th 1967, the Rivers State had enjoyed quality leadership from all the 17 governors and administrators that ever held sway over its affairs. Each had performed creditably considering the unique circumstances each of them faced while on the seat. However as time changes everything, the future offers unique challenges that need to be anticipated today and planned for. Hence the forthcoming 2023 polls exercise is coming at a time of significant and novel challenges which require leadership with equally unique blend of skills set.

This is where the We Agenda advocacy is converging with the Accord Party with its motto of “ Accord and Progress”, to offer Chief Lulu Briggs to the Rivers State electorate as the man of the moment. Against the backdrop of the shenanigans which border on the old and discredited arm-twisting tactics, and violence, lies the better option of a man widely acknowledged as a peace ambassador and who is driven by a vision of restore peace and rebuild the political economy of the Rivers State.

By virtues of its strategic status in the country Rivers State has progressed beyond the imposition of uncouth political culture of macho tendencies. It is time for robust citizen focused politics and not politics that panders to the whims and caprices of entrenched, parochial interests.

All we are saying is, “give us Dumo”, with the ‘We Agenda’ which puts people first, as an idea whose time has come.

AfCFTA: Cross-border Service Integration Will Boost African Oil And Gas Industry — Chief Briggs

AfCFTA: Cross-border Service Integration Will Boost African Oil And Gas Industry — Chief Briggs

By John Ikani

The Chairman of Platform Petroleum Limited, Chief (Barr.) Dumo Lulu Briggs, has admonished that cross-border service integration through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA will boost the African oil and gas industry.

Briggs who spoke on the theme ‘AfCFTA: Cross-border service integration as enabler of project delivery in the African oil and gas industry’ at the African local content collaboration session at the 2022 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston Texas, United States of America, noted that AfCFTA represents a new optimism and the continental approach at comparable scale is expected to have greater success in Africa.

“Hopefully, collaborations would improve the intra-Africa trade flows which is a poor 15% compared to North America (48%), Asia (58%) and Europe (67%). Although recorded trade underestimates the volume of actual trade and if proper account was taken of the size of the informal trades, the African numbers would not look so out of line.

Nevertheless, this statistic confirms that Africa trades with the rest of the world, not with itself, a trend which the AfCFTA aims to revolutionise through the creation of a single market for free movement of goods, services, and persons,” he said.

According to him, Africa can learn from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which became the largest economy globally with the 3rd largest labour force in the world in 2017 during its 50th anniversary.

While commending the organisers of the session for bringing together oil and gas producers, service providers, regulators, government officials, local content advisers, lenders, members of the academic community and other stakeholders to dimension the opportunities and challenges faced by the industry and to identify promising approaches to the implementation of cross border service integration and customs union, Chief Briggs opined that of the 15% of trade reported as intra-Africa, Oil and Gas is estimated to account for 75%, indicating that the industry is central to the prosperity of the continent and can become an enabler for other sectors.

“Removal of trade barriers will not only improve efficiency, enhance competition, and incentivise development of strategic solutions to local challenges through regional economies of scale, but essentially advance the efficacy of resource allocation.

Regional integration is pivotal to ensure that energy resources get from localities where they are most affordable, to where they are required.

A key anticipated outcome of the agreement is the acceleration of industrial output that would depend on the availability, affordability and security of energy supplies at a scale for industrial growth,” he added.

Chief Briggs said the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill into Law on August 16, 2021 will help to reform and improve the competitiveness of Nigerian Oil and Gas industry as well as attract the needed Foreign Direct Investment for growth.

He called on African financial institutions, including investment banks, commercial banks, development financial institutions to collaborate in order to provide the requisite capital to support oil and gas projects on the continent.

“Nigeria alone would require about $20 billion annually to sustain a 3 million barrels of oil per day output and increase gas production to circa 8 billion standard cubic feet per day to meet its demand.

With huge oil and gas reserves, government incentives for Oil and Gas Investments as demonstrated by the recently passed Petroleum Industry Act 2021, increasing competitive gas pricing, attractive Return on Investments (ROI) and deepwater fiscals and the availability of investments opportunities (open bid rounds, marginal fields, divestments, etc.), and strong presence of exploration and development activities with highly qualified E&P professionals in critical mass, Nigeria is ready.

The stage is set for greater trade collaboration in Africa and our industry cannot afford to be left behind,” he said.

The astute technocrat warned relevant agencies to ensure the success of AfCFTA to revolutionise the continent.

He warned that, “we must avoid a situation where, because of trade and custom barriers, Benin Republic would rather import Cement from France instead of trucking the cements across the border from Dangote Cement.

In the same vein, Aliko Dangote had to wait for a couple of weeks to obtain a visa for a business meeting in an African country whereas his business partners for the same meeting were able to obtain the same visa on arrival.
This must be nipped in the bud and must never happen again”.

Platform Petroleum Limited, a local content brand and a prominent indigenous player in the marginal field space, having won its flagship asset, the Umutu/Asuokpu Marginal field (renamed as Egbaoma Field) in the 2003/2004 marginal field bid round was among the top African Collaboration Session for the 2022 OTC.


Culled from: https://www.theheritagetimes.com/



If the 2023 general poll offers different strokes for different states in Nigeria, the situation in Rivers State attracts special attention. While each of the 36 states may have its designated basket of good, bad and ugly fillings, the case of Rivers State would still stand out as a dispensation in which a mark-up in its political fortunes at this time, demands a paradigm shift in the status quo, towards a return of the focus of politics and governance from serving the whims and caprices of individuals, to a more altruistic order whereby the ultimate dividend of any government action is determined by how much such directly provides measurable, tangible relief, to the individual citizen. While the 2023 poll offers the country another opportunity to reset its political agenda, it presents to the Rivers State in particular, the choice of actually reclaiming its soul from a drift into perdition, with the only prospect of respite being the ascendancy of a leader of vision and purpose who can claim a desired future, for it and its good people.

For too long, the Rivers State has served as a theatre for contest of political brawn by gladiators seeking unjustifiable, parochial, ego-massaging interests, to the detriment of the well-being of the wider society. For too long, the people of the state have helplessly watched as their common patrimony has been subjected to the wanton abuse and even rape by power mongers. For too long, the people have been subjected to selective, political and economic inclusion, as is determined by the whims and caprices of whoever succeeds in hijacking the levers of power in the state.

The inherent anachronism in this state of affairs is accentuated by the strategic status of the Rivers State in the affairs of the Nigerian federation. Apart from serving as the unarguable hub of the country’s oil and gas industry, the state is a major nexus for the political and economic life of Nigeria’s strategic east. The political fortunes of the state and the rest of the country can therefore not be optimized unless and until such are determined by the playout of good governance, with the features of inclusiveness, transparency, accountability and responsiveness as provided for by the Constitution.

Driven by burning altruistic fevour the ‘We Agenda’ movement with its mantra as ‘Putting People First’, and with a state wide spread, scanned the political horizon and has zeroed in on a leader who can be trusted with the future of the state, come 2023. The name Dumo Lulu-Briggs (with the acronym ‘DLB’) is not new in the political terrain of the Rivers State. In more than one instance his personal political credentials had inspired a groundswell of interest for his ascendancy to the exalted office of the Governor of the Rivers State. And in each of such instances, the state enjoyed a better acquaintance with his brand of politics with resonated with the popular will of putting the people first. Today and henceforth, this brand of politics is now an idea whose time has come.

Therefore, Run Dumo Run

Advocacy powered by THE ‘WE AGENDA’

Putting People First….

An Idea whose time has come.

INEC: ALL issues on party primaries for 2023 elections must be resolved by June 3, 2022

INEC: ALL issues on party primaries for 2023 elections must be resolved by June 3, 2022

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says all disputes arising from political party primaries must be resolved by June 3, 2022.

This was disclosed in the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election released by the commission on Saturday during a media briefing in Abuja.

“Conduct of party primaries, including the resolution of disputes arising from them – Monday, April 4, 2022 to Friday, June 3, 2022,” the schedule reads.

When asked during the briefing if parties who fail to resolve disputes by the said date will not participate in the election, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said parties that fail to comply with the guideline will not be expected to submit the names of their candidates.

“All political parties are supposed to comply with the timetable and schedule of activities released by the commission. Any political party that operates outside the timelines provided by the commission with respect to party primaries, will not be expected to submit the name of their candidate(s) to the commission,” he said.

The INEC chairman also announced that the presidential and national assembly elections will hold on February 25, 2023, while governorship and state house of assembly polls will take place on March 11, 2023.

The announcement comes hours after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the electoral act amendment bill into law.

The bill was transmitted to the president on January 31 after both chambers of the national assembly reworked it.

The president had initially rejected the bill after the national assembly made direct primary compulsory for political parties in the country.

But Buhari had said the provision “violates the spirit of democracy”.

It was on that basis the senate and house of representatives reworked the bill to provide for indirect, direct and consensus methods for selecting candidates.

Electronic transmission of election results is also part of the new provisions in the electoral act.

Only 18 Political Parties can participate in 2023 General Election – Rivers REC

Only 18 Political Parties can participate in 2023 General Election – Rivers REC

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers State, Obo Effanga has clarified that only the 18 registered political parties will take part in the forthcoming 2023 general election.

Speaking during a media parley in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Thursday, Effanga said the commission only recognizes 18 registered political parties.

He further explained that even if more political parties get registered now, they would not be able to field candidates in the 2023 elections as the newly signed electoral act prescribes that political parties must be registered one year before the election.

He said, “We have only 18 political parties this time. Going into the election we are not going to have more political parties than 18.

“Even if new political parties are to be registered today they cannot participate in the 2023 general elections because by the provisions of the new electoral act, a political party will have to be in existence for at least one year before it can participate in general elections.”

He encouraged the political parties to conduct their affairs including the congresses and convention as well as their primaries on time.

2,424 Additional Polling Units for Rivers

2,424 Additional Polling Units for Rivers

THE Independent National Electoral Commission, has announced plans to increase the number of polling units in Rivers State from 4,442 to 6,866 with the creation of additional 2,424 units.

It also explained that security agencies were responsible for their operatives who lost their lives during election duties.

The Rivers State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Oboh Effanga, said this during an interactive session with journalists, at the commission’s office, in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

On the planned establishment of more polling units in the state, Effanga explained that Rivers State currently has 4, 442 polling units which he described as inadequate.

He said, “Based on the lower threshold of 500 and upper threshold of 750 determined by the commission for the conversion of voting points to polling units, INEC looked to convert 2, 424 voting points in the state to fully fledged polling units.

“When these new proposed polling units are verified by the commission, the total number of polling units in River State will be 6,866. Those numbers, we believe would be adequate to serve the 3, 215,273 registered voters in the state.”

Speaking on the issue of policemen who lose their lives during elections, he said, “Every police man is the responsibility of the Nigeria Police Force, primarily. When we carry out our activities, we invite the police; they have the primary responsibility for security.

“Not only the police, other security agencies are also part of this, and I know that there is insurance for police personnel. So, if something happens to them in the line of their duty, police see that as something that happened to them in the line of their policing duties.

“Policing duty could mean policing at any event, including at elections. So, INEC does not take responsibility for them.

“In the last election, here in Rivers State, we had two deaths of our ad hoc staff, and their families were compensated because there is an insurance that covers that.”

To Ignore Power to A Riverine Governor in 2023 is to Perpetuate Injustice, Increase Tension and Agitation

To Ignore Power to A Riverine Governor in 2023 is to Perpetuate Injustice, Increase Tension and Agitation

Concerned Citizens of Rivers State, a pressure group, has kicked against zoning the 2023 governorship position to the Ogoni ethnic nationality in 2023.

The group argued that giving upland another tenure through the Ogoni would mean upland would be having an unbroken 32 years at the governorship seat without any consideration for the riverine area.

Spokesperson for the group, Ken Robinson, noted that Dr. Peter Odili governed the state between 1999 and 2007; Celestine Omehia, 2007; Chibuike Amaechi, between 2007 and 2015; and Nyesom Wike, 2015 till date.

He said the analysis showed governors from upland have been at the helm of affairs of the state for 24 years.

The group recalled that founding fathers took cognizance of the upland and riverine arrangement as a natural political divide in the state. 

Robinson said: “The issue of riverine and upland is like Nigeria’s political distinction of North and South that cannot be wished away even with the structural creation of six geopolitical zones. 

“Consequently, even as we seek to de-emphasise our diversity, it should be noted that this political reality has sustained peace and unity in Rivers State. To ignore it is to perpetuate injustice, increase tension and agitation, and exacerbate distrust and acrimony in the state.”

He urged Wike to give consideration to the emergence of a governorship candidate from the riverine Ijaw sections of the state, under the PDP, in the 2023 governorship elections, stating that it would be a valued addition to the robust developmental initiatives of his administration.

He appealed to political leaders and stakeholders and the entire people of Rivers State to support a riverine  governor after for justice and fairness.


2023: INEC’s Target of 20 Million New Voters

2023: INEC’s Target of 20 Million New Voters

KEY political gladiators are preoccupied with rallying support for their bid for choice elective offices in the 2023 general election despite the seeming lethargy by prospective voters towards the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration initiated in 2021 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), reports WALE AKINSELURE.


Nigeria is presently in the third quarter of the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise that began on June 28, 2021. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared commencement of the CVR apparently in a bid to update the voter register used for the 2019 election that had 84,004,084 registrants. Ahead of the 2023 elections, the commission detailed quarterly schedules for the exercise with the first quarter running from June 28 to September, 21, 2021; the second quarter running from October 4 to December 20,  2021; and the current third quarter, which is in its seventh week, is scheduled to elapse in April.


The CVR is being done in compliance with the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended), which mandates the INEC to carry out CVR nationwide and to make available to every political party within 60 days. The CVR is meant for registration of citizens who turned 18 years of age after the 2019 election or those, who for one reason or another, could not register in the previous exercises. The CVR also allows for updating or amendment of registration details by registered voters: misspelt names, omissions or wrong details, amendment in marital status. The CVR is to culminate in the issuance of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) which will enable registered voters exercise their civic right to vote in the general elections. In embracing technology, the hitherto practice of intending registrants presenting themselves to the CVR officers at INEC offices or designated public areas for registration was substituted with the creation of a portal where intending voters do a pre-registration. In place of the previous laptop-based Direct Data Capture Machine (DDCM), the ongoing CVR involves the use of a new registration machine known as the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED).


INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, however, added that the new device could also be used for other purposes such as voter registration during elections, dealing with registered voters who have had issues with their PVCs or fingerprints during accreditation during previous election. Expected to partake in the current CVR exercise are: Nigerian citizens who have attained the age of 18 years and not previously registered; Registered voters who have encountered challenges with their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVC) or their fingerprints not being read by the Smart Card Reader; Registered voters who want to effect a transfer of their voting locations; Registered voters who want to effect changes to their personal details; Registered voters whose PVCs are lost or defaced/damaged. However, pre-registration is just one step with intending registrants still mandated to go to INEC state or local government area offices for their biometrics and completion of their registration?


To also address fears of those who are not digitally inclined, physically disabled or people living in rural areas without access to the Internet, the commission established 2,673 centres where citizens can register manually. Upon conclusion of CVR, INEC is expected to display a preliminary register of voters for scrutiny, between a period of five and fourteen days, clean up its data before printing PVCs.