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Awute Faults States’ Memoranda On Health Issues

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Mr. Linus Awute, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, says most of the memoranda presented by states to the National Council on Health (NCH) lack merit.

He told newsmen in Asaba on Saturday that the Council had expected to receive some well thought-out memoranda from the states.

Awute is also the Chairman of the Technical Committee at the 53rd National Council on Health meeting in Asaba.

“Half of the memoranda presented by the states to the NCH had major deficiencies.

“You cannot present memoranda to the council that is only talking about achievements, when those achievements cannot be translated to results.

 “People must think about input and output. If you are channeling resources to any development undertaking, you are doing that to eliminate a particular identified problem,’’ he said.

He said that the Council needed to know the indices that had dictated certain capital health projects carried out in some states.

According to Awute, there will be no achievements without results.

“We also want to know how that activity has impacted on the people, but most of these memoranda from the states are naked of ideas about the deliverables in the health sector,” Awute said.

“And as few as the memoranda are, we are going to take them on.

 “What you see today is the technical committee, an aspect of the Council that needed to evaluate those submissions that were made by the states.

“It would be forwarded to the Council which is chaired by the Minister for Health, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, for decisions to be taken,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Police Parade Inspector, 24 Others For Alleged Gun Running

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The Cross River State Police command has paraded one of its personnel, Inspector of police, Nathaniel Manasseh, for alleged gun running.
Also paraded was a 29-yr-old suspect, Mr. Akaniyene Inyang Umoh, for alleged arson and participating in the burning down of Ini Police headquarters in Akwa Ibom.
Umoh was arrested by the police detectives in Cross River after he fled from Ini.
Also paraded by the police are twenty three other suspected criminals picked by the police for various ranging from murder, illegal possession of firearms armed robbery, and cultism.
Speaking while parading the suspects at the state police headquarters Diamond Hill, Calabar, the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sikiru Akande, urged the residents of the state to assist the police with useful information that could aid in the arrest of criminals.
The CP said, “Cross River is regaining its lost glory in the area of security. As a matter of fact, we remain the most peaceful state in Nigeria and nothing can break out resolve.
“For our achievement, today is not unconnected with corporation enjoyed by well meaningful citizens, critical security stakeholders and corporate bodies that meet regularly to reevaluate our performance so far and the need for improvement that has led to what you are seeing today.
”I want to equivocally state clear that for the police to function effectively and efficiently in any developed society requires citizen’s participation, collaborative partnership and willingness of the community to constantly equip the police with useful information that can forestall unpleasant occurrence.”
Akande revealed that amongst those apprehended include an Inspector of Police, who usually gives out their riffles on “rent” to notorious criminals and is a member of a gun running syndicate.
He further said three persons were arrested for murder, nine for armed robbery, six for cultism, while three others were arrested for gun running, including the Inspector, as well as one for car snatching and another for arson.
Items recovered from them include, one unregistered Sports Utility Vehicle SUV from some criminals said to be one of the vehicles stolen around the Cross River Basin Authority during the #EndSARS protest.
But reacting to his arrest, the police inspector, Manasseh, admitted that he lost some rifles, claiming that he was charmed and spouses of two AK-47 and a vehicle.
He said: “I was assigned to convey two criminals from Obubra LGA of Cross River State to Owerri and unfortunately I was charmed by one of the criminals along the road and the criminals flee away with a vehicle and guns said to be property of the police.
”But I reported to the command and the police went after the criminals and got the criminals with the police guns recovered.”

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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Niger Delta

$951m Payment: Diri Appeals To FG To Implement Court Judgement

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has appealed to the Federal Government to implement Monday’s Abuja Federal High Court judgement ordering the payment of $951 million as shortfall in oil derivation revenue due to the state.
Governor Diri made the appeal in his first public reaction to the judgement on Wednesday inside the Executive Council Chambers in Government House, Yenagoa.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr, Daniel Alabrah, the governor said the money was due to the state based on the Constitution and the 13% derivation principle.
Governor Diri, who said his administration was open to dialogue with the Federal Government to amicably resolve the matter, noted that constant litigations would not engender cordial relationship between states and the centre.
His words: “ Let me use this opportunity to appeal to the Federal Government to please implement the consent judgement that has been delivered.
We are prepared for dialogue to ensure that we have a smooth relationship with the Federal Government. We believe that governments are one and the same and we have the task of protecting and bringing peace to our country. Litigations would not bind us together as a people.
“What is right is right. Clearly, these are monies and finances that are due to Bayelsa State by the Constitution and the 13% derivation principle.”
In another development, Senator Diri urged people of the state to set aside their differences and live in peace to engender development.
He gave the admonition on Wednesday when he received a report of the committee set up by the state government on the Peremabiri community crisis.
Diri, who acknowledged that disagreements were a part of co-existence, noted that such should be peacefully settled in the spirit of brotherhood.
While stating that meaningful development would not take place in the absence of peace, he called for an end to conflicts that lead to destruction of lives and property in the state.
He decried constant conflicts experienced in some communities in the state, saying that through his administration’s intervention; most of the brewing crises were averted.
He described Peremabiri as a richly endowed community in both human and natural resources but regretted that such gifts had been negatively utilised as it had been embroiled in crises for about four decades.
“As a people of Ijaw ethnic extraction, l likes to call on all of us to continue to live in peace and harmony. That is the only way that we can confront challenges that come our way. That is the only way we can develop as a people and bring prosperity to the state.
“Today, we are handling issues about Peremabiri. But there are pockets of conflicting situations dotted across the state. As you are aware, this administration has been trying its best in handling most of these crises by nipping them in the bud.
“We cannot afford fratricidal wars, inter and intra-communal conflicts that have dotted all the spaces of Southern Ijaw and the state. It is time for us to go back to those good old days that our forebears lived in peace.”
While thanking the committee led by the member representing Bayelsa Central in the Senate, Senator Moses Cleopas, Diri assured that his government would take an unbiased look into the report with a view to implementing it.
The governor, who expressed optimism that his administration would bring a lasting peace to the community, called on all to support its initiative to end the conflicts in the area.
Earlier, Senator Cleopas stated that findings of the committee revealed the absence of a generally accepted constitution, frequent change of leadership, divide and rule tactics by Shell Petroleum Development Company were some of the causes of conflict in the community.
To forestall future conflicts, the committee recommended the enactment of a new constitution, signing of a peace accord by major actors, signing of a new Global Memorandum of Understanding by SPDC, among others.
The peace and security committee on Peremabiri was set up in January 2021 following attacks on the community by unknown gunmen.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Army Attacks On Rivers People In 2019 Never Dampened Our Spirit, Wike Insists

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says the killing of Rivers people by the Nigerian military in Abonnema Town during 2019 general election has not dampened the resolve of the people to always defend the nation’s democracy.
The Rivers State governor was speaking at the flag-off of reclamation of 52 hectares of land for the Abonnema and Obonoma towns in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state, last Wednesday.
Wike said the plan of the Nigerian military was to rig the election against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, but the people of Abonnema resisted it and paid the supreme price defending the interest of the state.
“They suffered it in 2019 when the military came and killed so many of our sons and daughters, because they wanted to rig the election through one of their own sons.”
The governor said, “They suffered because of their defence that PDP must not be rigged out. But, I can tell them that those who died did not die in vain. They died in defence of Rivers interest; they died in defence of Abonnema. They died in defence of Obonoma interest; they died in defence of Akuku-Toru interest. And that is why we will never abandon this LGA for what they have done for us.”
Wike restated the need for politics to be development-oriented devoid of hatred that often lie underneath the resolve by most politicians to kill their opponents.
“Politics shouldn’t get to the level we should kill our own people. That is not politics. Politics is what do I attract to my area for the entire benefit of my people?”
He stated that the people of the Abonnema and Obonoma communities should be grateful, first to God and then to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of the opportunity to see result of their unalloyed political support.
According to him, but for PDP, it would have been difficult to witness the actualisation of the reclamation of vast land from the swamp for the benefit of future generations.
Wike said the people now have seen the difference between a party that tells them stories, and a party that fulfills whatever promise it has made to them.
“When the chairman of the council came, he said that I have a special interest in this local government. Special interest, yes, and it is because when we started this journey, this was one of the local governments that came out boldly and gave us all the necessary support.
“That is why we have said we will never abandon this local government for what they have done for us.”
Speaking further, Wike directed his Special Adviser on Special Projects, Kelly-George Alabo, to send an application for additional payment of 20 percent for the contractor.
This he said will make it 70 per cent of total contract sum paid to the Master Dredger, the company handling the project.
Wike said he wants the project to be completed in eight months instead of the proposed 12 months because he desires to map out the utility lines and eventual allocation of spaces within his tenure.
Performing the flag-off, former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Wabara, said he has never seen where a state government has championed development in local government areas as executed by Wike.
Wabara noted that the projects, as confessed by the benefiting communities, address their most pressing needs, which will be used by everybody, irrespective of their political party.
He acknowledged the immediate pains associated with the ongoing construction of the 10th flyovers as experienced by residence of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor councils, and urged them to be patient as there cannot be development without inconveniences.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to Governor Wike on Special Projects, Kelly-George Alabo, had recalled that a few months ago, Wike had made a promise of undertaking the land reclamation project for the people.
The governor, Alabo said, had thereafter directed commencement of the procurement process, adding that at the end, the contract was awarded with 50 percent mobilisation fee paid to the contractor.
According to him, because land means so much to the people, the contractor has mobilised to site with personnel and equipment to fast-track the completion of the project.
In his remarks, the Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bob-Manuel, who commended Wike for fulfilling his promise to reclaim land for the community, disclosed that for decades, past administrations had made similar promises, which were never actualised.

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