What Is the Zika Virus? Your Questions Answered

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What Is the Zika Virus? Your Questions Answered


What You Should Know About the Zika Virus


The World Health Organization meets next week to decide whether to declare Zika a global emergency.


The virus is spreading fast across the Americas, and WHO expects 3-4 million people to be infected over the next year. Scientists are urgently looking into whether the virus causes birth defects. "We know many people are concerned or scared," says Dr. Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Here are some answers to questions many are asking:

How worried should I be?


It depends on where you live. For most U.S. residents, Zika is unlikely to be a problem. That's because it take two factors for the virus to spread: actively infected people and the right kind of mosquitoes to spread it.


"For the average American who is not traveling, this is not a problem," Schuchat told reporters. It's winter now, and mosquitoes are scarce. Only Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are known for sure to spread Zika, and they're common only in the very southernmost states — south Florida, south Texas, Louisiana and Hawaii. Even there, they would have to bite someone already infected and then bite others very soon afterward, and with just the occasional traveler showing up with Zika, that is unlikely to happen much.


"You can say that there really is essentially no risk at all [now] because we don't have local Zika transmission in the United States," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dengue, a virus closely related to Zika that is spread by the same mosquitoes, has caused only a very few, very small outbreaks over the past few decades.


An Aedes Aegypti mosquito LUIS ROBAYO / AFP – Getty Images


And 80 percent of people who get Zika don't even know it. The other 20 percent may get a rash, a fever or pinkeye, but Zika hardly ever causes serious illness.


But pregnant women planning to travel should worry. "For pregnant women who to plan travel: Please take this very seriously," Schuchat said. CDC has advised pregnant women to seriously consider postponing travel to any Zika-affected regions. That's because Zika is suspected of causing microcephaly, a serious birth defect in which the brain is underdeveloped.

Where is the Zika virus? When will it get to my state?


The occasional traveler will show up with Zika, but CDC says that's nothing to worry about. New York has five known cases, but it's cold and there are no mosquitoes, so there is no chance of spread. CDC reports 31 cases in travelers in 11 states and Washington, D.C, in the past year, as well as 19 cases in Puerto Rico and a single case in the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Fauci notes that many news outlets are publishing maps that show the known distribution of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and their cousins, Aedes albopictus. "Don't make the assumption that you are going to see outbreaks in that distribution of mosquitoes," Fauci said. "That's just where the mosquitoes are." Again, those mosquitoes would need a pool of infected humans to bite before they could spread the virus. Right now, Zika is spreading fastest in tropical cities with dense populations and poor mosquito control. "We do think the living conditions in general in the United States — the lack of density, better air conditioning, wider use of screens — will keep us in better shape," Fauci said.


Florida has the dual risk of having the right mosquitoes and lots of travel to and from the affected areas. "We consider Florida a prime risk," said Jorge Rey, an entomologist at the University of Florida. "If you look at past histories, chikungunya and dengue have been transmitted in the Keys."

WHO to hold emergency meeting as Zika virus spreads 2:26


Related: What is Zika Virus? Five Things to Know

I just got bitten by a mosquito. Will I get Zika?


Not unless the mosquito has it. So if it was a mosquito in in a U.S. area where Zika hasn't been seen — which is all of the United States right now — the answer is almost certainly "no." If you are in a Zika-affected region, the answer is "maybe." Researchers do not know the "attack rate" — how many people get infected once Zika's in an area. They also do not know whether a single bite can transmit the virus or how long the mosquito has to have been infected to spread it. And if it's not an Aedes mosquito, also called a yellow fever mosquito, it does not transmit the virus.

We're headed to the Caribbean for our honeymoon. Should we worry?


You should definitely take precautions against getting bitten. That means long sleeves and long pants, use of a mosquito repellent such as DEET and staying inside when possible. There's a chemical called permethrin that you can spray on your clothing and gear to repel mosquitoes. And if you were planning on starting a family right away, you might want to rethink that. Women who might be pregnant are advised to avoid affected areas. Doctors know that the earlier in pregnancy a woman gets exposed to a virus or a toxin that can cause brain damage, the worse the effects are on the fetus. Until experts know more about the risks to a pregnancy, they advise taking care.


But a week or two after getting back, if you have not shown symptoms, it's probably safe to get pregnant. The virus doesn't stay in the body for long.


Authorities in El Salvador have taken the extreme step of advising women to not get pregnant at all for two years.

I'm pregnant and just got back from Brazil. What can I do?


Try not to worry. CDC says doctors should ask all pregnant women about their travel histories, and if they have symptoms of a possible Zika infection, they should get tested. That would be a rash and a fever. And women who have been to an affected area and whose fetus looks like it may have microcephaly on an ultrasound should also be tested. Then women should continue to get regular ultrasounds to watch for any signs of trouble.


CDC has guidelines here.


For women with no symptoms, it's not clear what they could or should do. No one knows whether a woman without symptoms could pass Zika virus to her baby. "We are working hard to find out. It's possible," Schuchat said. "There are other viral conditions that can do that. That's why we are taking this very seriously. It's difficult for women to hear and one of the reasons we encouraged women who are pregnant to postpone travel to affected areas."


And no one knows how many women who get Zika while pregnant will have a baby with microcephaly, or whether it's even Zika, or Zika alone, that is to blame.

My neighbors are from El Salvador. Are they going to spread Zika?


Any traveler who has just returned from a Zika-affected country with an active infection could potentially get bitten by a mosquito and spread Zika that way — if the right mosquitoes are around. The infection lasts for a few days to a week. It's unlikely anyone could transmit the virus after a week. So if you don't live somewhere with Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, or if your neighbor hasn't just returned with an infection, the answer is "no."

Can't they just kill all the mosquitoes?


People have been trying for hundreds of years to do that. Mosquito control can work — wetlands draining and aggressive control with pesticides. But wide use of the best bug killers, like DDT, stopped when their effects on the environment outweighed the benefits. Brazil actually did eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever and other diseases in the 1950s, but the mosquitoes gradually returned.


"Controlling this type of mosquito is difficult," Schuchat said. "It is easy to say, 'Get rid of the mosquito.' It is a lot harder to do it."


It's very hard to kill Aedes mosquitoes because they like to breed in unexpected places, such as bottle caps filled with water, trash cans and discarded tires. Brazil is experimenting with genetically engineered mosquitoes that lay dud eggs, but it's an early experiment. It's also trying fish that eat mosquito larvae, but that approach doesn't work for urban breeding sites.




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The National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, who regained his freedom after meeting his bail conditions on Thursday, resumed work at PDP office on Friday.


Metuh met with members of the British Conservative Party. This is according to tweets from the official handle of the PDP.


The British Conservative Party’s delegation was led by Mark Field, Member of Parliament representing the Cities of London and Westminster; and Colin Bloom, Director of outreach at the Conservative Party.


The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. It is the majority party in the House of Commons, having won 330 of the 650 seats at the 2015 general election. It is the largest party in local government with 8,296 councillors.




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DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has charged political office holders to be vibrant, innovative and resources-oriented in the discharge of their duties.

Governor Okowa said this [29-01-16] in Asaba when he inaugurated chairmen and members of the following seven Boards- Scholarship Board [Mr. Sam Igumbor- Chairman]; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Agency [Mr. Suru Salami-Chairman]; Technical and Vocational Education Board [Mrs. Clara Obanor-Chairman]; Delta Tourism Board [Chief Barr. Adaora Giwa-Amu-Chairman]; Delta Arts Council [Mr. Godbless Omoniyi-Chairman]; Delta Broadcasting Service Warri [Barr Mrs. Felicia Ajagu-Chairman]; and Rural Development Agency [Mr. Solomon Areyenka-Chairman].

According to the Governor, with the economic reality of fall in revenue, “appointments are not positions for politicians to enrich themselves but, for appointees to utilize the knowledge and resources within themselves to impact positively on the Boards and Agencies.”

While congratulating the political appointees, the Governor emphasised, “you (Board Chairmen and members) should be professional in the discharge of your duties and ensure that all loopholes and leakages are blocked.”


He specifically charged the chairman and members of the Delta State Scholarship Board to ensure that only verifiable students of Delta State origin in institutions of higher learning benefits from the bursary and scholarship scheme of the state government to avoid fraud, reiterating that the micro-credit scheme of his administration was not for political patronage but, “to enhance the economic well-being of all Deltans who are prepared to seek genuinely for micro credit and be ready to pay back.”


“The micro credit is at the interest of 9 per cent per annum and it is compulsory that beneficiaries pay back as scheduled so that other Deltans can benefit from it, and they should be aware that anybody who takes our funds and does not pay back, we will get law enforcement agencies after you because, there is no politics in it, you don’t need to destroy the lives of others for your own selfish interest,” he said.


Governor Okowa used the occasion to challenge the Delta State Tourism Board and the Delta State Arts Council to work in synergy with the Delta State Ministry of Culture and Tourism to harness the tourism potentials of the state to generate revenue.


Responding on behalf of the appointees, the Chairman, Board of the Rural Development Agency, Mr Solomon Areyenka thanked Governor Okowa for the appointment, assuring that they will carry out their functions diligently to the glory of God and to the satisfaction of Deltans.

Supreme Court Sacks Stella Oduah, Andy Uba From Senate Names Replacements.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Sacks Stella Oduah, Andy Uba From Senate Names Replacements.


The supreme court has sacked Andy Uba and Stella Oduah from the upper chamber of the national assembly.


Both lawmakers from Anambra state are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


While Uba represented Anambra south senatorial district, the other affected lawmaker represented Anambra north senatorial district.


With the development, all the three PDP senators elected to represent the state in the 8th assembly, have lost their seats, as the appeal court annulled the election of Uche Ekwunife of Anambra central, in October.


Ekwunife has since defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), where she is struggling to pick a ticket to return to the senate.


Uba, a two-time lawmaker, was former special adviser on domestic affairs to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, while Oduah was the former minister of aviation, who was embroiled in the controversy over the purchase of two bullet-proof BMW cars.


More to follow…


Read more at: https://www.thecable.ng/breaking-supreme-court-sack-andy-uba-stella-odua 


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By Fred Onajomo


The political Aide to the Governor On Students affairs Comr Okoh Ezekiel Tega has heaped praises on the conduct of the just concluded Delta State Education Summit with the theme Leapfrogging Education in Delta state. 


In his words He described the initiative of the summit as laudable and timely as the status quo of education in the state was truly not encouraging, he noted that with the organisation of the summit which saw proffesionals delivering their papers on contemporary issues as it affect the educational development in the state .


He charged all relevant stakeholders which according to the summit was everyone in the society to as a matter of urgency prioritise educational development in all ramifications. 

He stressed on the role of community, government and the institution as it affects educational development in the state, while urging students leaders in the state to take the bull by the horn as they are also key stakeholders in the education sector. 


He further noted that judging from the various papers presented enriching the curriculum and development of sports will go along way in transformation of education in Delta state as such Delta State will be come a hub for educational tourism. 


He called for Public Private Partnership (PPP) to further expand the chances of educational development while citing the poor sporting, laboratory and technical support in primary, secondary and tertiary Institutions of Learning In Delta State as something that shouldn't be left for government alone.

Comr Okoh Ezekiel Tega also called  for the total implementation of the summit reports as  it will be beneficial to generations unborn judging from the fact that it was truly people oriented. 


In his final words He appreciated the planning Committee headed by a distinguished academia Prof.  Patrick Mouboghare noting that the summit was all embracing and the speakers were truly professional in the deliver of their papers, he seized the medium to thank His Excellency Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa  for his love for education and support for the initiative. 


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Chief Okiemute Kent Akigho was a man I had only known through social media, thank God for the fact that I was opportuned to have being part of the social media team that worked in the past election.


This brought me closer to Chief Okiemute Kent Akigho who invariably adopted me as his son, as such I was really privileged to have worked a bit closer with him. He is a philanthropist per Excellence, a lover of grassroot development, ambassador of Equity and Fairness, a detribalized Deltan whose relationship with people wasn't based on religious, tribal and political affiliations. 


He proved this over and over in the course of my Numerous trips with him as his media repoter during the  campaigns, he took the prosperity gospel to the least recognised villages in his Constituency, he is loved by the old, the young and the children not because he is a political office holder but due to the fact that he has been able to add value to the lives of people around him.


Among other things he has continually agitated for the completion of the primary school situated in his Constituency, he has continually ensured that he assisted the less privileged people in the society, he has always being an advocate of grassroot development and grassroot involvement in politics, he has continually provided eductional materials for children over the years.


Thus, the news of the proposed conferment of Olorogun on him by His Majesty Ogunrimerime Ukori 1 the Ovie Of Agbon Kingdom did not come to me as it was long over due, to me it will only be a stimulating factor that will make him  work harder to achieve more for his people.   


I join the rest of the world in congratulating this noble man on this worthy achievement. My prayers for you is that God grant you the Wisdom and Guidance to continually do good things not just for people of Agbon Kingdom, not just people from Delta State, not just people from Nigeria but the world at large.



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Delta State Governor, Sen Okowa today inaugurated 7 new Boards and Agencies.


The Inauguration ceremony  took place at Delta State Government House, Asaba. 


(1) Rural Development Agency (RDA) – 


Chairman – Hon Solomon Arenyika 


Members are; 

(1) Mr Larry  Efekodha

(2) Chief Patrick Idama 

(3)Princess  Odu Bardi 

(4) Mrs Georgia Evah 

(5) Mr Igbedi Merpherson 

(6) Chief Victor Okumagba. 


(2) DBS Warri – 


Chairman Barr. (Mrs) Felicia Adowei Ajagi. 


Members are; 

(1) Mr Ebielum Madumezie 

(2) Chief J.J Scott 

(3) Mr Foreman Brown Idogho. 


(3) Scholarship board-



Mr. Sam Igumbor


Members are 


(1) Comrade Uche Osadebe


(2) Sunny Orishedere (3) Prince Tunde Fegene 


(4) Evan. S.I Obuseh 


(5) Dr Tony Dibashi 


(6) Hon Jonathan Eghwere 


(7) Hon Okemute Dukuye 


(8) Jackson Kudozo 


(9) Mrs Ajah Abel. 


(4) Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Agency-



Mr Suru    Salami, 


Members are 

(1) Sunny Ezonfade 


(2) Mrs Anna Orumade 


(3) Barr. Theodora Azinge.  


(C) Technician & Vocational Education Board- 


Chairman – Mrs Clara Obanor


Members are 


(1) Julius Takeme 


(2) Engr. Fedelis.  


(5) Delta Tourism Board- 


(6) Chairman – Chief Barr. Adoara Giwa-Amu, 


Princess Tina Amuamuzian as member. 


(7) Delta Art Council-


 Chairman – Mr Godbless Omonyi,


 Members are 


(1) Jonathan  Umukoro 


(2) Hon. Collins Bello 


(3) Ike Nwagwor 


(4) Nkem J. Madezia 


(5) Dr. Dio Tanga 


(6) Chief Chris Ometan.




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GENEVA—A confident looking former President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday in Switzerland  gave a robust defence of his administration and stated why he would not comment on the current arms probe scandal allegedly involving his National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, and some top politicians in the country.


Speaking at Geneva Press Club on Security, and Development in Africa, the former President said he would not like to comment on the arms probe matter now because his comment could affect witnesses and the judicial proceeding that had been initiated by the current administration.

Jonathan in GenevaJonathan in Geneva


He said: “I would not like to comment now because the matter is in court. I cannot comment. Definitely, I will speak. My Comment now may affect witnesses and the judicial process.


“When I was President, I tried to build institutions like the Judiciary and separation of power and the electoral bodies. I should not be the one undermining the process.”


The former President fielded questions on a host of issues such as the Chibok Girls, Boko Haram the economy and corruption and also spoke on why he did not challenge his electoral defeat in court.


Pressed to comment on the huge amounts of money allegedly embezzled by some members of his administration, the former President said: “I have an idea about some of the corruption cases you are talking about. The amount being mentioned in some cases are so huge, sometimes people think I was Nigeria’s President since independence. Sometimes, people just bandy figures. I remember somebody said we lost $49 billion in 18 months.


“The same man who made the allegation reduced the figure to 12 billion. I got forensic experts to probe the books of NNPC to ascertain the veracity of the allegation. I even remember asking the German Chancelor who said if that amount of money was missing in her country, it would be a big issue.


“The truth of the matter is that if we lose such amount of money within 18 months as the allegation said, the country will collapse.’’


Negotiating with fake Boko Haram members

On the allegation that his government negotiated with fake Boko Haram members, Dr. Jonathan said it was not true.


“People come up with all sorts of allegations. The truth of the matter was that we realised that the epicentre of the terrorists activities were in two states – Borno and Yobe, we decided to set up a committee of influential people in those two states to interact with their people to see if they can help in tackling the problem.


‘’We did not negotiate with Boko Haram. The people we negotiated with were militants in the Niger Delta and it was successful.


‘’Even the current President said recently that if they see credible members of Boko Haram, they would be willing to discuss with them. If somebody said we negotiated with fake members of Boko Haram, the person is just playing politics,” he said.


On service chiefs and Chibok girls whereabouts

Asked to comment on the statement that his former service chief who said the Army knew where the Chibok girls were being held and till the end of his administration, the girls were not rescued, the former President said when he heard the comment, he was surprised, adding he invited the service chief for a chat.


He said he would someday make public what they discussed.


On why he did not contest his defeat at the poll, Jonathan said: ‘’I did not contest my defeat because I did not get into politics because of what I will gain. An African President on hearing the margin of defeat, said Jonathan must be tired. I could not destroy what I helped to build.’’


In his paper, he said one of the ways of tackling terrorism was through education.


“My policy was to fight insecurity in the immediate term using counter-insurgency stratégies and for the long term, I fought it using education as a tool.


‘’As I always believed, if we do not spend billions educating our youths today, we will spend it fighting insecurity tomorrow. And you do not have to spend on education just because of insecurity. It is the prudent thing to do.


‘’It is no coincidence that the North east epicentre of terrorism in Nigeria is also the region with the highest rate of illiteracy and the least developed part of Nigeria.


FG and primary education

“In Nigeria, the Federal Government actually does not have a responsibility for primary and secondary education, but I could not in good conscience stomach a situation where 52.4 per cent of males in the Northeastern region of Nigeria have no formal Western education.


‘’The figure is even worse when you take into account the states most affected by the insurgency. 83.3 per cent of male population in Yobe state have no formal Western education. In Borno state it is 63.6 per cent.


‘’Bearing this in mind, is it a coincidence that the Boko Haram insurgency is strongest in these two states?


‘’So even though we did not have a responsibility for primary and secondary education going by the way the Nigerian federation works, I felt that where I had ability, I also had responsibility, even if the constitution said it was not my responsibility.


‘’Knowing that terrorism thrives under such conditions, my immediate goal was to increase the penetration of Western education in the region, while at the same time making sure that the people of the region did not see it as a threat to their age old practices of itinerant Islamic education, known as Almajiri.


‘’For the first time in Nigeria’s history, the Federal Government which I led, set out to build 400 Almajiri schools with specialized curricula that combined Western and Islamic education. 160 of them had been completed before I left office.


‘’I am also glad to state that when I emerged as President of Nigeria on May 6, 2010, there were nine states in the Northern part of the country that did not have universities. By the time I left office on May 29, 2015, there was no Nigerian state without at least one federal university.


‘’Now the dearth of access to formal education over the years created the ideal breeding ground for terror to thrive in parts of Nigeria but there are obviously other dimensions to the issue of insecurity in Nigeria and particularly terrorism.


‘’You may recall that the fall of the Gaddafi regime in August 2011 led to a situation where sophisticated weapons fell into the hands of a number of non-state actors, with attendant increase in terrorism and instability in North and West Africa.


Partnership across West Africa

‘’The administration I headed initiated partnership across West Africa to contain such instability in nations such as Mali, which I personally visited in furtherance of peace.


‘’With those countries contiguous to Nigeria, especially nations around the Lake Chad Basin, we formed a coalition for the purpose of having a common front against terrorists through the revived Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF.


‘’Those efforts continue till today and have in large part helped decimate the capacity of Boko Haram.


‘’Another aspect of the anti-terror war we waged in Nigeria that has not received enough attention is our effort to improve on our intelligence gathering capacity.


‘’Prior to my administration, Nigeria’s intelligence architecture was designed largely around regime protection, but through much sustained effort, we were able to build capacity such that our intelligence agencies were able to trace and apprehend the masterminds behind such notorious terror incidences as the Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Niger State.


‘’Other suspects were also traced and arrested, including those behind the Nyanya and Kuje bombings. Not only did we apprehend suspects, but we tried and convicted some of them, including the ring leader of the Madalla bombing cell, Kabir Sokoto, who is right now serving a prison sentence.


‘’But leadership is about the future. I am sure you have not come here to hear me talk about the way backward. You, like everyone else, want to hear about the way forward.


‘’I am no longer in office, and I no longer have executive powers on a national level. However, I am more convinced now than ever about the nexus between education and security.


The Goodluck Foundation

‘’My foundation, The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, was formed to further democracy, good governance and wealth generation in Africa.


“Of course, charity begins at home and for the future, what Nigeria needs is to focus on making education a priority.


‘’Thankfully, the administration that succeeded mine in its first budget, appears to have seen wisdom in continuing the practice of giving education the highest sectoral allocation. This is commendable.


‘’I feel that what people in my position, statesmen and former leaders, ought to be doing is to help build consensus all over Africa, to ensure that certain issues should not be politicized.


‘’Education is one of those issues. If former African leaders can form themselves into an advisory group to gently impress on incumbent leaders the necessity of meeting the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, recommended allocation of 26 per cent of a nations annual budget on education, I am certain that Africa will make geometric progress in meeting her Millennium Development Goals and improving on every index of the Human Development Index.


‘’Data has shown that as spending on education increases, health and well being increases and incidences of maternal and infant mortality reduce.”


‘’In Nigeria for instance, average life expectancy had plateaued in the mid 40s for decades, but after 2011, when we began giving education the highest sectoral allocation, according to the United Nations, Nigeria enjoyed her highest increase in average life expectancy since records were kept.


‘’We moved from an average life expectancy of 47 years before 2011 to 54 years by 2015. I had earlier told you about the connection between education and insecurity.


‘’I believe that it is the job of former leaders and elder statesmen to convince executive and legislative branches across Africa to work together to achieve the UNESCO recommended percentage as a barest.’’




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Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, has congratulated Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, on the occasion of his 50th birthday celebration on 28th January, 2016.


Governor Okowa's birthday message was contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, wherein the Governor said, the people of Bayelsa State are blessed to have Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson as Governor of Bayelsa State while noting with appreciation, the immense contributions of Governor Dickson to the development of Bayelsa State and Nigeria in general. 


Okowa noted that Gov. Dickson had every cause to celebrate and thank God Almighty for His benevolence on the joyful occasion of his Golden birthday anniversary while noting that the Governor's recent reelection for a second term is the 50th birthday gift from the people of Bayelsa State.


“On behalf of my family, the Government and the people of Delta State, I write to felicitate with you on the occasion of your birthday anniversary, today,January 28, 2016.


“Over the years, you have given yourself to the cause of peace and development in Nigeria and Bayelsa State. For this, we owe you an enduring debt of gratitude.


“In a life that has seen you reach an enviable height of your public service and political endeavours, there is great cause for you, members of your family, your many associates and well-wishers to thank Almighty God for His benevolence upon you.


“As you deservedly celebrate this landmark, it is my prayer that Almighty God continues to bless you with robust health and many more years of happiness.” 


Okowa wished Gov. Henry Seriake Dickson a very happy birthday and prayed that God Almighty will continue to guide and bless him. 


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Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has congratulated Governors Nyesom Wike and Dave Umahi of Rivers and Ebonyi States on the affirmation of their electoral victory by the Supreme Court yesterday.


In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Ehidu Aniagwu, Governor Okowa, said that by this judgment, the Supreme Court,  lifted a burden off the shoulders of well meaning people of Rivers and Ebonyi State and tasked both  Governor Wike and Umahi to reciprocate the gesture by running an inclusive government.  


"Rivers State, her friends and neighbours waited with baited breath for this favourable judgment. Your 'long walk' to victory must not be taken for granted. You must reward the state with open, transparent and purposeful leadership. Rivers people can't settle for less" Governor Okowa noted.


Governor Okowa also called on the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Dakuku Peterside, to demonstrate maturity by appealing to his supporters to take the judgment in good faith. This, the Governor said, would provide even ground that would accelerate development in the state.

" This judgment brings to an end all contests for the office of Governor of Rivers State and governance can't be pigeon-holed if it has to address the good of the people" he said.


The judgement of the apex court on the cases of Governors Wike and Umahi is a victory for our democracy and a reaffirmation of the divine mandate freely given to them by the people of both states and commended the Apex court for ensuring the sanctity of the people's mandate.

" The ruling of the Supreme Court will go a long way in restoring the hope and confidence of the Nigerian people on the sanctity of the judiciary".

Okowa who sited the broad- mindedness of Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state, as demonstrated by Fayose's recent visit to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state and called on politicians; particularly those of Niger Delta extraction to emulate such principle and begin to align forces for the progress of the region, irrespective of political affiliation.   


"We should all learn to be good winners and good losers" Governor Okowa said, and called on residents of the state to refuse to be drawn into bitter confrontation with one another on account of pecuniary interest of any politician.