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Boro Day Show In London - Bayelsa State Gov. may have 'fallen mugu'

Posted by The Port Harcourt Telegraph on 2005/07/07 | Views: 438 |

Boro Day Show In London - Bayelsa State Gov. may have 'fallen mugu'


Governor D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State may have 'fallen mugu' to the schemings of the state's Director of Arts and Culture, Mr. Barclays Ayakoroma, over the recent trip of the State Culture Troupe to London for the first ever Major Isaac Boro Commemoration Event in Europe.

* How Bayelsa Arts & Culture Director Allegedly Hoodwinked Alamieyeseigha
....over N18 Million Involved
By Our Reporter


Governor D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State may have 'fallen mugu' to the schemings of the state's Director of Arts and Culture, Mr. Barclays Ayakoroma, over the recent trip of the State Culture Troupe to London for the first ever Major Isaac Boro Commemoration Event in Europe.

Telegraph gathered exclusively that the event that culminated in the fraud actually started on 5th May when the Ijaw Peoples Association{IPA), of Great Britain and Ireland, through a fax message to Mr. Ayakoroma, invited the Bayelsa State Cultural Troupe to perform at the first ever Major Isaac Boro Commemoration Event in London.

According to the letter signed by the President of the association, Mr. Roland Ekperi, the Troupe was invited to promote the rich culture of the Niger Delta.
"We have heard so much about Bayelsa State Council for Arts and Culture and its works in promoting the rich culture of the people of the Niger Delta. We have also seen how South Africa transformed its tourist industry through arts, culture and entertainment.

"We believe your presence and the performance of the Bayelsa State Cultural Troupe at the event will help to promote the rich culture and the tourism potentials of the oil rich Niger Delta in Europe.

"In addition, many of our people who have lived in Europe for several years would feel reconnected to their cultural roots," the IPA, which has service before reward, as its slogan, stated in the letter.

On receiving the letter, Mr. Barclays Ayakoroma immediately forwarded a letter to the governor through the Commissioner for Information, Culture, Tourism and Strategy, Oronto Douglas, seeking for N18,706,000.00 (Eighteen Million, Seven Hundred and Six Thousand Naira) for the trip.

Obviously eager to support the trip, which promises to put the state and indeed the people of the Niger Delta on international limelight, Chief Alamieyeseigha graciously approved the figures in the letter.

However, if His Excellency had been more meticulous in scrutinizing the figures he would have discovered a very glaring anomaly.

Under the estimate for Estacode for 23 artists and two officials who would be on the 12 days trip, approval was sought for $100 for each of them. But when the calculation was being made it was based on $150 each. This translates to an over payment of $1,150 (N1,932,000).

From documents and information at our disposal, this is not the only anomaly that the cultural troupe boss would have to account for. It is believed that 12 of the artists that were billed to be part of the trip to London were rejected by the British Embassy on account of their been below the age of 30 years, a condition that the British Government had earlier announced would lead to rejection of its issuance of visa.

"In compiling the list of those he intended to take on the trip, the Director should have taken cognizance of this fact and leave out such 'under aged' artists. He, however, went ahead to put their names on the list and present it to the embassy, which promptly struck out the 12 names," a reliable source told Telegraph.

Instead of passing the information to the affected artists and promptly refund the over payment, Mr. Ayakoroma allegedly proceeded to give each of the artists some token amount of money and instructed that they proceed to Lagos and check into an hotel where he'll come and pick them for the trip.

But the artists, we gathered, had a terrible experienced when they lost most of their possessions to hoodlums and were stopped from boarding the flight to London at the Murtala Mohammed Airport as they did not possess visas.

It was revealed that the depleted team, which included the director's wife, Letty, who became the person in charge of the troupe's welfare/logistics for the purpose of the trip, put up a below par showing at the London show to the consternation of all and sundry.

What is baffling many is that there is no sign that Mr. Ayakoroma has returned the over N8 million that is an over payment due to the dropping of the 12 artists from the trip.

The breakdown of some of the monies that Mr. Ayakoroma would have to return to the coffers of the state government include: N2.4million being the air fare of the 12 dropped artists (at N200,000.00 per head); N5.796 million being estacode approved for the dropped artist.

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown