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Niger Delta

Ex-militants Task ExxonMobil On Post-Amnesty Programme

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Ex-militants from Akwa Ibom have accused Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) of not complimenting the government’s gesture for peace in the Niger Delta region.

The youths under the auspices of Ex-Niger Delta Agitators Forum in Akwa Ibom, decried the neglect of the oil communities by the company, an affiliate of U.S. energy firm, ExxonMobil.

The Secretary of the forum, Mr Edoho Paul, told our source on Monday, that oil firms operating in the region were expected to collaborate with the Federal Government in creating jobs for the erstwhile restive youths.

“It is rather unfortunate that oil firms operating in the Niger Delta region are yet to do their part in the amnesty progamme of the Federal Government to address the neglect of the region.

“The companies are silent and in our own state in Akwa Ibom we have approached Mobil and, we observed that they systematically excluded the oil communities over the years from their operations,’’ he said.

Paul said the ex-militants had taken steps to get the attention of the oil firm by staging a peaceful demonstration last week to draw its attention to the continued neglect of Akwa Ibom oil producing communities.

According to him, the ex-militants have also called for the relocation of the headquarters of the oil firm from Lagos to Akwa Ibom in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government.

Paul further said the operations of Mobil in Akwa Ibom were yet to rub off on the economy of the state as most of its employees paid their taxes to other states.

He said the development had deprived the state of millions of naira in tax revenue.

“We have asked them to ensure that their service companies are compelled to open their project offices within the state to create jobs for the ex-militants. “This is very important because the oil firms are enjoying the peace ushered in by the amnesty programme but have not supported it,” Paul said.

He noted that as transformed and law-abiding citizens, the youths had resolved to adopt non-violent approach in getting the oil firm to accommodate them.

He explained that due to this approach, Mobil had also enjoyed uninterrupted operations which had resulted to improved oil output in the last few years.

Paul urged the oil firm to invest in the post amnesty scheme by developing social amenities for the host communities.

On his part, Mr Williams Mkpa, a community leader in Ibeno, said the community had suffered several oil spills as a result the activities at the Qua Iboe terminal.

He said Mobil had declined to pay compensation to affected fishermen.

“We are compelled to seek legal redress and I can tell you that we have several pending cases with Mobil because they are insensitive to the cry of members of their host community.

“The level of underdevelopment in Ibeno, where Mobil has operated for over 40 years, is like an open wound for all to see, so what the ex-militants are agitating for is justified,’’ Mkpa  said.

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Niger Delta

Diri Charges Security Agencies On Intelligence Gathering

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Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has urged security agencies to invest more time and resources in intelligence gathering in their effort to overcome banditry, insurgency and other securty challenges confronting the country.
He made the call at a retirement party organized by the state government in honour of the outgoing state Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli, in Yenagoa.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor emphasized the need for security agencies to adopt a holistic approach that will encourage the active participation of civilians in their campaign against insecurity.
According to Senator Diri, until security is seen as everyone’s business in society, the use of kinetic approach to addressing security challenges will yield little or no meaningful result.
While calling on the police and other security outfits to be above board in the performance of their duties, he urged people of the state to always volunteer information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of criminals in the state.
“Security is everybody’s business, but more often than not it is seen as nobody’s responsibility. Sometimes we want somebody to do something about security, and nobody does anything about it, and at the end of the day security is not taken seriously.
“But somebody has to do something about security. We should all do something about security so that our state can be safe.I will like our security agencies to be more proactive and preemptive in carrying out their duties because it is cheaper to be preventive. They have to make more effort in the area of intelligence gathering from the civil populace”, he said.
Describing CP Mike Okoli as a refined product with an unblemished record throughout his service in the Nigeria Police, Governor Diri said society had a lot to learn from the wealth of experience of the retiring Commissioner of Police.
He acknowledged the sacrifices being made by security personnel, noting that some of them get killed or become paralyzed in the course of securing lives and property, and therefore, must be appreciated in society.
“We need to learn a lot from the experiences of CP Mike Okoli. He had good cooperation with his colleagues in the state. No wonder, Bayelsa State had a decline in crime during their service in this state. As a government, we are very grateful. We know what these people (security agents) pass through. As civilians, we sleep at the risk of their breath, spine and throat.
“When you are sleeping and a crime is being committed, the Commissioner of Police and other service commanders would rush out because there is something going on.We are praying for CP Mike Okoli that as you are going into your retirement… from the Nigerian Police, we thank God on your behalf for being who you are and who you are going to be”, he added.
Earlier in their separate goodwill messages, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diete-Spiff, and the Commandant of Police Staff College, Jos, Assistant Inspector General, Don Awunah, acknowledged CP Okoli’s contributions to the relative peace and security in the state.
They described him as an outstanding and accomplished officer with an unblemished track record in the Nigerian Police and wished him the best in his future endeavours.
Responding, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli, thanked Governor Douye Diri, and his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, for honouring him by hosting his retirement thanksgiving reception.
Okoli also thanked the service commanders and everyone who made out time to attend the event, especially the Commandant of Police Staff College, Jos, A.I.G Don Awunah, and prayed God to bless them.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Delta Commissioner Urges Students To Study Hard

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Commissioner for Secondary Education in Delta State, Mrs Rose Ezewu, has urged Nigerian students to always study hard to excel in their examinations to become productive adults.
Ezewu made the plea yesterday, while monitoring the ongoing third term promotion examinations in some schools across the state.
According to her, this is one way for students to broaden their minds, knowledge and become successful individuals, problem solvers, employers and wealth creators in the society.
The commissioner described teachers as critical stakeholders in the development of any society, especially in the area of building and shaping the orientation of children.
“Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration is committed to transforming the education sector by ensuring a conducive teaching and learning environment for students and teachers in the state.
“Teachers should reciprocate government’s huge investment in the education sector by being more committed to their duties,’’ she said.
Some of the schools monitored by the commissioner and her team included Okeme Secondary School, Okuokoko in Okpe Local Government Area and Ogbe Secondary School, Effurun.
Others are Alegbon Secondary School, Ekpan, both in Uvwie Local Government Area, and Edjeba College in Warri South Local Government Area.

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Niger Delta

Don Advocates Balance Between Demand, Supply Of Teachers

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Prof. Ebele Egwunyenga of the Delta State University, Abraka, yesterday advocated an equilibrium between the demand for and supply of teachers in the school system
Egwunyenga made the assertion in a paper she presented at the 7th Quadrennial 8th State Delegates Conference of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Delta State Chapter, in Asaba.
She said that adequate personnel is essential in the sustainability of Nigeria’s educational system.
According to her, adequacy is not limited to the number of personnel as it includes equitable distribution of teachers according to areas of specialisation.
“I recommend that government should ensure that there is equilibrium between teachers’ demand and supply in the school system.
“Government should improve on social amenities, particularly in rural areas. This will encourage teachers posted to the area.
“Government should provide modern technology for both teaching and learning. School facilities should be made attractive by government such that teachers would wish to be in school daily.”
Egwunyenga, who underscored the importance of education in nation building, said that education remained the vehicle for sustainable socio-economic development of any nation.

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