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Oil Well Crisis: Imoke Bans Side Comments, Protests

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Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has urged Cross Riverians to maintain the paces can not to embark on any activity that may lead to a breakdown of law and order following the ceding of its 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom and its delisting as an oil producing state.

In a state wide broadcast to the people, Imoke said he was compelled to address the state on the issue of the oil wells and the purported delisting of the state under the guise of the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon stressing that those far reaching decisions were taking without any reference to consultation between the two states and the relevant federal agencies and at a time when the maritime boundary of the two states was neither in doubt nor in dispute.

According to Imoke, “As uncautionable and provocative as this action may appear to be, we have reacted in a must continue to do same until the matter is resolved”, adding that, “as you may be aware, Mr. President’s attention was drawn to the matter even before the implementation of the purported new indices and he accordingly directed that the decision of the relevant agencies be revisited. In line with Mr. President’s directive, several meetings have been held under the leadership of the Vice President towards resolving the impasse.”

The governor assured the people that justice will be done, and that oil wells restored, and thanked Cross Riverians for their unprecedented solidarity and support through the challenging periods remarking that, “from our youths to our women and our elders, we have all spoken with one voice, condemning the action and seeking justice. You have once again demonstrated your love for state ad this administration and we are quite appreciative.”

He said as provoking as the decision may be he appealed to Cross Riverians to maintain the peace and not to embark on any activity that may lead to a breakdown of law and order because the state has absolute confidence in the ongoing efforts of Mr President and the Vice President towards resolving the matter amicably.

Imoke noted that Cross River is a peaceful state, and Cross Riverians very hospitable and accommodating people and for years have enjoyed an excellent relationship with its neighbouring states, which the people are committed to maintaining, emphasizing that they must continue to exhibit the warmth and hospitality that they are known for and for no reason must they disrupt the peace which has contributed greatly in making the state the estination of choice for business or leisure in Nigeria.

The Governor reiterated than all programmes and projects remain on course, inspite of the setback and for the state to achieve its desired set goats, the people must ensure that they maintain the peace while thanking Mr. President, the Vice President and all well meaning Nigerians, who have stood by the state in one way or the other in these trying times.

Chairman of the occasion and member representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal contituency at the House of Representatives, Chief Andrew Uchendu (right) having a handshake with the former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Sir Gabriel Toby during the 10h Anniversary lecture in honour of late Evans Oi, founder of the Port Harcourt-based Independent Monitor Newspaper, at the Minstry of Justice Auditoum, Port Harcourt. Phone: Donatus Ken.

Chairman of the occasion and member representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal contituency at the House of Representatives, Chief Andrew Uchendu (right) having a handshake with the former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Sir Gabriel Toby during the 10h Anniversary lecture in honour of late Evans Oi, founder of the Port Harcourt-based Independent Monitor Newspaper, at the Minstry of Justice Auditoum, Port Harcourt. Phone: Donatus Ken.

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Niger Delta

Project N’Delta Group Chides Akpabio Over Delayed NDDC Board

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Project Niger Delta, PND, a non-governmental organisation in Niger Delta, has rebuked the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator
Godswill Akpabio, over the delayed inauguration of the substantive board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
According to the group, the continued delayed in inaugurating the board of the NDDC is” deliberately orchestrated by the Minister for selfish political gains against the collective demands of the Niger Delta people.”
PND in a statement by its Executive Director and National Coordinator, Comrade Prince Timipre Ebebi, said the people of the region are not happy with the procrastination of the inauguration of the board six months after the minister’s promise.
While calling for the immediate inauguration of the NDDC board, Ebebi recalled that the minister had promised that the board will be
inaugurated by July 2021, regretting that the minister was taking the stakeholders and people of the region for granted.
He warned that if the board is not inaugurated soonest, the group will mobilise youths of the region against the Minister and Interim
Administrator and flayed the non-chalant attitude of youths groups in the region particularly the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC.
He called on the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, the Ijaw National Congress,INC, and other ethnic groups in the region to
rise and speak out against the perceived injustice meted out to the people of the region through the failure in inaugurating a substantive
board for the NDDC.
He said: “Since December 22, 2020, Mr.Effiong Akwa has been appointed by Mr President through the lobbying of Sen. Godswill Akpabio as
Interim Administrator of NDDC and the duo hail from Akwa-Ibom, since then the collective prosperity and federal government developmental
incentives to the region are being managed by one lion family led by Sen. Godswill Akpabio and our resources are being used for personal
gains despite our consistent appeal and peaceful resolution, the minister has paid deaf ears.
“We at PND hereby call on Sen Akpabio not to take us for granted and expedite actions to inaugurate the board for the benefit of all,
anything less than that, we shall mobilise Niger Delta youths against him and the Interim Administrator for sabotaging the collective
interest of the Niger Delta people.
“Project Niger Delta also query the nonchalant attitude of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, led by Comrade Timothy Igbifa, for its long
silence and also call on the leadership of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, led by Prof. Benjamin Okaba to continue to speak against the apparent leadership failure of Sen.Godswill Akpabio in relation to the handling of the NDDC matters.
“In the same vein we are also calling on Pa E. K Clark led Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, to speak out against the further delay in the inauguration of the NDDC board, because as it stands NDDC belongs to only Akwa-Ibom State, while Cross River, Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo, Abia and Imo states are being denied their representation to fast track development in their states thereby defeating the purpose
for the establishment of the commission.”

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VC Tasks Alumni On Varsity’s Dev

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The Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule, has urged alumni of the university to contribute to the growth and development of the university.
Okogbute, who gave the charge while commissioning bus stands built in the university campus by the 1998/99 Set of the school in Port Harcourt recently, said for any university to develop, the alumni must play significant roles.
While thanking the 1998/99 Set for the bold initiative, the Vice Chancellor called on other sets of the university to follow the good examples set by the alumni, as well as to always synergise to accomplish set goals.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Chairman of the 1998/99 Set of the university, Mr Christopher Hart assured that the two bus stands built by the set for the university would stand the test of time, contending that the gesture was the beginning of many more projects to be constructed by the group for the institution.
According to him, the bus stands can be dismantled and re-assembled at will and equally have the capacity to boost security.
Hart noted that members of the 1998/99 Set of the university are doing pretty well in their respective careers and endeavours, even as, according to him, the present Accountant-General of the State is a member of the set.
He commended the present administration of the university for the giant strides it has recorded so far, and urged it to re-double its efforts to truly re-position the institution.

By: Emeka Igbe

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Niger Delta

Scramble For Gold In Edo: Uneasy Calm As Illegal Northern Miners Troop In

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The sleepy community known as Dagbala in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, has been in the news for the wrong reasons for over a year as activities of alleged illegal gold miners deepened and created security breach in the area, forcing the state government to ban all forms of mining there.
According to reports, the issue, which has emboldened illegal miners to flood the area, is the dispute over the ownership of the mining site at Oketegbe in the community by different families and those who are also positing that, irrespective of the ownership of the land, the entire community should be the beneficiary since the environmental impact the mining sites would bring would be borne by the entire community.
Report further revealed that apart from claims and counter-claims, there have been attacks targeting locals which have led to residents raising concerns in an area grappling with kidnapping and other crimes before government slammed the ban.
It is observed that even though the decision has brought relative peace to the community, it has also denied miners with licenses access to their sites to carry out legitimate businesses.
Meanwhile, some of the contending families are already in court while some stakeholders in Dagbala are trying to adopt alternative dispute resolution mechanisms where all parties are expected to make sacrifices for the good of all.
Recall that In February 2021, there was tension in the area over influx of persons mostly suspected to be of northern Nigeria extraction who were into mining of gold and most of them believed to be without licenses.
The small community was overrun by these ‘foreigners’ who were also accused of luring women into amorous relationships. Loads of sophisticated arms and dynamites were purportedly imported into the community at night by the miners without any community member knowing about it.
Some of the vehicles used to ferry these items into the community allegedly had government plate numbers which made their movements easy.
Some illegal miners were recently arrested at the site and they confessed that they were from different parts of the country, including Kogi, Taraba and the Federal Capital territory and that they had waiting buyers to take the raw gold from them for processing.
In the face of all these, there is the allegation of cover-up by security agencies and officials of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

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