Member representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Dr. Sokonte Davies, has called on people living where members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram are operating, particularly in some Northern parts of the country to co-operate with security agencies to bring the scourge under control.
Davies who made the call in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said there was the need for people living around where members of the sect were operating to offer useful information to security agencies in order to address the security challenges facing the nation.
He noted that this was imperative because members of Boko Haram were human begins, who were known by the people and living among them, and not spirits, as some people want Nigerians to believe.
To this end, to be able to address the Boko Haram scourge, the lawmaker emphasised that the people around where they operate, should be ready to co-operate with security agencies.
According to him, it would amount to criminal conspiracy of silence if the people where Boko Haram members operate, continue to harbour them, without giving them up for arrest and prosecution.
He said unless people readily co-operate with security agencies to tackle the scourge, Boko Haram members would continue to have a field day, stressing that arrest so far made by security agencies was made possible by persons who offered useful information.
The lawmaker foreclosed the possibility of dialogue with Boko Haram members, because, as he puts it, “you don’t dialogue with somebody you don’t see”.
He, however, called on leaders of the North to borrow a cue from Niger Delta leaders, by taking the initiative to reach out to members of the sect to dialogue and convince them to drop their weapons.
“Why I say so is because at the peak of the Niger Delta issue, many people came out and said, “deal with us, discuss with us”. And we were able to reach some of those our sons to make sure that militancy was brought under control. In the Boko Haram issue, nobody is coming up, nobody is willing to take that responsibility”, he said.
The federal parliamentarian further noted that the fact that the sect had not properly articulated its demands had further made the security challenges which it had posed to the country more complex, saying, “until we determine and decide what they are fighting for, talking of solving the problem will be a little bit presumptuous”.
He expressed disappointment that Boko Haram’s attacks were targeted at Christian places of worship, a development he said had punctured the notion that its struggle was economic, saying, “if they are sponsored, as being said and believed, the people who are sponsoring them want to use religious issues to gain political points.”
According to him, “people who are attributing Boko Haram to lack of jobs are over simplifying a complex issue. Joblessness is not restricted to one section of the country. It is a national issue”.
Davies, however, condemned the reprisal attacks that trialed the recent bombing of churches in Kaduna, saying, “as Christians, we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We show leadership and direction”, and alleged that sympathizers of Christianity who were fed up with the spate of bombings might have committed the act, and not churches.
DPR Plans Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy For Oil, Gas Industry
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it is formulating a Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) strategy for Nigeria to attain maximum value delivery from its oil and gas resources.
The Director, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, made the announcement during a keynote address at the 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), yesterday, in Lagos.
The conference has as its theme, “The Future of Energy –A Trilogy of Determinants: Climate Change, Public Health, and the Global Oil Market.”
Auwalu said the industry initiative was one of the outcomes of the work of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), Lagos inaugurated in January by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “Following an in-depth assessment of the status of the industry, the department identified the need to formulate the ‘Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy for Nigeria’.
“This is to guarantee the actualisation of sustainable resource optimisation and the economic benefits arising therefrom.
“The framework for this industry action plan outlines six pillars or building blocks.”
Auwalu said the pillars were: Reserves Maturation and Production Optimisation, Exploration and Resources Maturation, Improved Oil Recovery and Enhanced Oil Recovery, Implementation Asset Stewardship, Performance Evaluation and Rewards Risk Management.
According to him, the draft framework has been shared with the industry, including professional associations like the SPE and the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists.
He said this was in preparation for an industry collaborative workshop to co-develop and enunciate this strategy for immediate execution.
“We count on the contributions and buy-in of all stakeholders on this crucial national assignment for our overall benefit and industry sustainability,“he said.
Auwalu said Nigeria was rising to the occasion as the ‘trigger’ for continental growth and economic transformation using its oil and gas resources to drive value for national development.
He said the DPR would continue to foster innovative ideas and create opportunities for investments and sustainability in the industry.
Auwalu said, “As always, we are enthusiastic to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders, including the SPE, toward the realisation of government’s aspirations for the oil and gas sector.
“In our role as business enablers and opportunity providers, DPR will continue to promote efficiency to meet the needs of the industry, creating value, enhancing transparency, reducing barriers and transaction costs.”
Pensioners Urge PenCom To Implement Unpaid 15% Increment
Pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have appealed to the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to implement their 15 and 33 per cent pension increment and other benefits.
The Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN), South-West Zone, made the appeal,yesterday, during a peaceful protest held in Ibadan.
The CPUN President, Mr Joseph Idowu, while addressing newsmen said that PenCom has yet to implement the increment since 2007 and 2010 in spite of various promises.
Idowu said that their counterparts, under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), had been enjoying the increment through the proactive stand of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).
“The new consequential adjustment in pension due to the latest increase in workers’ salaries and wages are also being enjoyed by pensioners under DBS, neglecting the CPS pensioners.
“No CPS pensioner has received any interest on their accrued benefits since 2007 till date.
“We require your urgent attention to ensure that arrears on this are calculated and paid at the Federal Government official rate, as at the time of retirement,” Idowu said.
The president said that his members were suffering as some of them collect as low as N3, 000 as their monthly pension which was not accepted.
Idowu also said that his members were not happy with the delay in the payment of their retirement benefits, which the commission now paid after one year of retirement, contrary to PRA Act 2004 (Amended).
He said that Section 16 (5) of PRA Act 2004 says pensioners should be paid not more than three months after retirement.
Idowu, however, commended the commission for prompt payment of their monthly pension, urging them to prioritise welfare of pensioners under the CPS.
Also, a member of the union, Mrs Clara Fumilayo, called on the Federal Government to assist the pensioners,
Fumilayo said that their monthly pension could no more buy any tangible things based on the situation in the country.
‘Only 29% Of Babies Breastfed Due To Reliance On Breast Milk Substitute’
A professor of Paediatric and Child Health, Alice Romoke-Nte, says the aggressive marketing of breast milk substitute by manufacturers was responsible for the gap in breastfeeding of children by mothers in Nigeria.
Nte, who is also the coordinator, Baby Friendly Initiative at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) said the advertising of these baby food weakens the confidence of the mothers and makes them feel that these breast milk substitutes are better off.
She said this has left only 29 percent of Nigerian babies breastfed as a result.
Nte said the UPTH, Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt and other stakeholders were using this year’s World Breastfeeding Week to carry out aggressive campaigns to raise awareness for the need of exclusive breastfeeding.
She said the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes would be included in steps to ensure full compliance of marketing these artificial body foods.
Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt that joined in the rally yesterday morning for exclusive breastfeeding to mark the World Breastfeeding Week includes, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Top Health, Seaport, Eco, Atlantic City, and Golf Estate.
Others include, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway, City Valley, Passport, Creek View, Sky Waves, and Rotary Club of Port Harcourt.
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