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Four-time Minister Graham-Douglas Dies

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Four-time Minister Graham-Douglas Dies

Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, a four-time minister and one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is dead.

Graham-Douglas was aged 82. He died thirteen days to his 83rd birthday which would have been celebrated on May 8, 2022.

It was learnt that the elder statesman and patriarch of Graham-Douglas family from Abonnema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State died on Monday, April 25, 2022 in a private hospital in Abuja.

The cause of death remained unknown as of the time of publishing this report, just as an official statement announcing his passing had yet to be released by the family.

Graham-Douglas’ life and times were packed full of great accomplishments, a skim through his story as documented in douglashistory.co.uk has shown below:

Chief Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, a four-time federal minister and one of the founding fathers of the Nigerian Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was born on 8 May 1939 in Abonnema in the Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“The son of a native court judge who settled disputes and altercations in his immediate Abonema, he is of Ijaw origin.”

His brother, Napo Graham-Douglas, was the first indigenous Attorney-General of Nigeria.

He attended secondary schools in Lagos and Port Harcourt.

He studied at Acton Technical School, London (1963 – 1965) and then at the University of Lagos (1965 – 1969). He earned a BSc. in Botany and Zoology.

He started work with the Nigerian Petroleum Refinery Company, Port Harcourt (1969 – 1977).

He became managing director of Togiscani Nigeria, a construction company (1978 – 1985) and CEO of Road Haulage Company and Magroad Enterprises.

READ ALSO: Delta PDP Governorship Aspirant Dies

He was also chairman of the Binterteco Nigeria, Pabod Finance and Investment and Waterglass Boat Yard.

In 2000, Graham-Douglas was appointed Provincial Grand Master of the Freemason’s Lodge in Calabar.

Graham-Douglas became Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Culture in 1986 in the Rivers State government.

In this role, he completed the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre, founded the Sports Institute of Isaka and initiated construction of the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt.

He also gained approval to establish the Rivers State College of Science and Technology.

He created, produced and directed the first Rivers Carnival, Carnival ’88 with the theme of Unity in Cultural Diversity.

In 1989 the military government of Ibrahim Babangida appointed him Federal Minister for Social Development, Youths and Sports.

During his tenure, the separate Ministry of Women Affairs was established.

He was moved to the Ministry of Aviation where he oversaw the deregulation of the aviation industry.

He was also a member of the Special Tenders Board, which developed the Abuja FCT.

Several years later, in November 2003, a judicial commission of inquiry into management of Nigeria Airways between 1983 and 1999 issued a report that indicted Graham-Douglas and others for mismanagement and decisions that led to huge losses.

In 1992 Graham-Douglas became chairman of the Southern Minorities Movement, one of the groups that eventually merged into the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He was a candidate in the PDP primaries for the presidential nomination in 1998, losing to Olusegun Obasanjo, who went on to become president.

President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Graham-Douglas Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity in June 1999.

In July 2000, Graham-Douglas was re-deployed in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

In November 2000 he headed a delegation that visited China, where he signed the 2000-2002 Executive Plan of Cultural and Educational Exchange between China and Nigeria.

In December 2000 he hosted the Africa Travel Association’s Fourth Ecotourism Symposium in Abuja.

He described ecotourism as responsible tourism, saying “Ecotourism conserves the natural environments and sustains the well-being of local people”.

Graham-Douglas was dropped from Obasanjo’s cabinet in January 2001.

An elder statesman in Rivers State politics, in 1999 Graham Douglas and Marshal Harry, Chairman of the PDP in the State, settled for Dr Peter Odili as a consensus candidate for governor.

By October 2002 Graham-Douglas was engaged in a very public dispute with Odili.

He was strongly opposed to Odili’s reelection. He said of Odili that “he has no respect for good governance and we have a right to call him to order”.

In January 2007, following the PDP primaries in Rivers State in which Riverine candidates performed poorly compared to Uplanders, the Ijaw Consultative Assembly which Graham-Douglas had founded launched an attack on Ijaws who had served in Odili’s government, apparently in a move to reverse the selection of Rotimi Amaechi as PDP candidate for governor.

This was a reversal of his position in 2003 when he had said the Ikwerres from Rivers East should take their turn after Peter Odili. Later he became a supporter of Amaechi.

However, in February 2010 Graham-Douglas disagreed with Amaechi about marginalization of the Kalabari people, claiming problems were due to longstanding government neglect combined with efforts to cut oil-producing areas out of the Kalabari region.

READ ALSO: House Of Reps’ Member Dies

Amaechi took the position that Kalabari leaders themselves were to blame, and should do more to develop their communities and discourage militancy.

Talking of the Niger Delta crisis in an interview in October 2009, Graham-Douglas blamed the problems in part on the elections of 2003 when the boys were given arms and used to disrupt the polls.

He said the recent amnesty was progress, but not enough. More should be done to provide local housing and employment.

He was among leaders who that month protested against the poor performance and lack of activity of the Ministry of Niger Delta.

Happily married to Muriel, Graham-Douglas and his wife are blessed with grown up children and lots of grandchildren.

On memories that evoke sadness, he said losing his elder brother, back in 1983 still remained the most memorable day for him.

He had just returned from a meeting in England, where they spent time together just before Christmas when he heard he had died from a heart attack. (douglashistory.co.uk)

 

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Delta CDHR Disowns Giama, Says Edariese Is Authentic Chairman

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Delta CDHR Disowns Giama, Says Edariese Is Authentic Chairman

There is only one CDHR in Delta State headed by Comrade Elder Chief Edariese A. Peter.

The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Delta State chapter, has declared that one Jonathan Giama is not its chairman.

According to a statement by the CDHR, the authentic chairman of the group remains Chief Peter A. Edariese.

The CDHR made known this position in response to Giama who has allegedly been parading himself as the chairman of the group.

The CDHR said that Giama was expelled from the organization in in a letter in January, 2021 .

A statement by CDHR signed by Edariese noted as follows: “The fellow, Mr. Jonathan Giama, was the Secretary, CDHR, Delta State till March, 2020 when his tenure expired after serving the organization for four years.

READ ALSO: CDHR Denies Asking Delta Speaker To Resign

“During his period in office, he involved himself in acts incompatible with the aims and objectives for which CDHR was formed by the founding fathers.

“As a result of the above acts of Mr. Jonathan Giama, he was investigated along with one Mr Kehinde Taiga who served as the state chairman at that time and both of them were found culpable and shown the way out by expulsion from the body as referred to above.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there is only one CDHR in Nigeria which is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja with its registered office at No. 43, Adeniyi Jones Avenue, Ikeja, Nigeria with branches in almost all the states of the federation including Delta State where I serve as the State Chairman having been elected on 22nd June, 2021 by delegates from all the units in the state.

“CDHR has a well- structured organization with National Executive Committee (NEC) with an erudite lawyer Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, a two-time Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Edo State as National President with great men and women who have made their marks in their chosen careers and callings as members.

“The body also has a Board of Trustees duly Registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission with a legal juganaut, Femi Falana (SAN) as Chairman surrounded by other eminent lawyers academics and business moguls as members.

READ ALSO: CDHR Members In Delta Celebrate As DELSU Appoints Ibagere As Provost

“As a test of genuineness, Mr. Jonathan Giama is hereby challenged to direct the general public to the address of the National Secretariat of the CDHR of his imagination and who in Nigeria are members of his National Executive Committee (CEC) and members of the Board of Trustees of the same which I know, he cannot and for that reason, he should shut up henceforth and look for something to do to make a living instead of parading himself as a member of CDHR and even its state chairman forthwith.

“I, Comrade Elder (Chief) Edariese A. Peter is and remains the only person who can fly the CDHR flag in Delta State as its chairman for now till the end of my tenure.

“I call on the general public to beware of impersonation as represented by Mr. Jonathan Giama.

“I am equally calling on all the law enforcement agencies in Nigeria particularly in Delta State to arrest Mr. Jonathan Giama to investigate his claims as CDHR Chairman Delta State and prosecute him if he is found culpable for impersonation to save the uninformed and unsuspecting members of the public from falling victim to Mr. Jonathan Giama who is bent on using the name of CDHR to extort money from his victims to oil his dubious and expensive lifestyle.”

 

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Gunmen Write Nine Councils In Anambra, Threaten Attacks

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Gunmen Write Nine Councils In Anambra, Threaten Attacks

Daredevil gunmen have written letters to nine local government areas in Anambra State, threatening to attack them soon.

The local government areas listed to be attacked are Ihiala, Aguata, Nnewi South, Awka North, Awka South, Idemili North, Idemili South, Orumba South, Orumba North and Anambra East.

In a message to the LGAs, the anonymous group warned security operatives to get ready for action in ‘Biafra Land’.

READ ALSO: Council Secretariat, Court Burnt Down In Anambra

“These local government areas should wait for us soon. We are warning our dear professor that it is time for action and not time to speak big grammar and talking. All the security men occupying should get ready for action.

“Go and tell the President to release our oga (boss), Onyendu, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, or face continuous war – FINAL WARNING,” the group wrote.

Meanwhile, the Anambra State police operatives, on Tuesday, neutralised hoodlums operating and enforcing the sit-at-home in the state.

The suspects were said to be operating around the Ogidi area on the second day of the sit-at-home when they confronted the security operatives.

It was confirmed by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Tochukwu Ikenga, who said the command and other sister agencies had been on patrol to maintain law and order in the state.

Ikenga assured the people to go about their normal businesses without any form of intimidation, harassment or worry assuring them of adequate security.

 

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PDP To Settle For Consensus Presidential Candidate – BOT Chairman

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PDP To Settle For Consensus Presidential Candidate - BOT Chairman

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is set to settle for a consensus presidential candidate, the Board of Trustees chairman, Walid Jubril has disclosed .

Jubril made this known to journalists while responding to questions at the PDP secretariat in Lafia on Tuesday.

Jubril said he was in the state to assess presidential aspirants who visit the state to enable them to come up with a suitable candidate for the party in the consensus agreement.

“The NEC has made it known earlier that there will be no zoning and no consensus. But right now there is a loophole, therefore we need to review that earlier decision and come up with a consensus candidature.

“We have agreed to sit together to review that very seriously and come up with a suitable candidate to lead our party in the contest.

“We are not stopping any aspirant from contesting but we have to resort to consensus. All the aspirants from the south east, south west and the north are working together to produce a consensus.

READ ALSO: PDP In North Is Working On Consensus Candidate – Saraki

Meanwhile, Senator Bukola Saraki while addressing delegates in the state vowed to end insecurity and to block all economic leakages that have thrown the country into a serious mess.

Saraki acknowledged that Nigeria is in need of a forthright and dogged leader that will move the country from where it is. He said he has such capacity.

” We are facing the problem of insecurity and bad economy. The level of leakages in our economy is responsible for all we are going through. When I become the president I will block all the leakages and deploy technology to fight insecurity.”

 

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